Navarro has been producing Syrah continually since 2001. By 2005 we had identified four exceptional Mendocino Syrah vineyards and had contracted to purchase the fruit each vintage. Each of these four vineyards is represented in this 2007 bottling but, sorry to say, this is one of Navarro's last Syrahs. In 2008 one grower ditched us for a winery with deeper pockets. That same year the smoke from wildfires caused us to declassify the wine from the other three vineyards to our more inexpensive Indian Creek label. By 2009 another small grower experienced diminished yields and pulled out his vines. The remaining two fields yielded a paltry 300 cases of 2009 Mendocino Syrah. However, blending from four good sites in 2007 enabled us to craft a wine with an emphasis on complexity and completeness rather than power and size.
Morning blending trials at Navarro are fun work.
As in your kitchen, clean-up is at least 50% of the work in winemaking. The four lots of 2007 Syrah were fermented using two different yeast strains, then aged ten months in French oak barrels. Each barrel was fined with two egg whites to reduce tannins and help clarify the wines in preparation for the blending trials.
Two vineyards are in the cool Navarro river watershed. One mountain vineyard close to Philo yields a wine whose charm is an intense white pepper aroma. On the valley floor a second site yields a wine with yummy fresh cherry flavors. Two other vineyards are located in hills above the warmer Russian River watershed, displaying a riper flavor profile. One adds herbal, brambly notes and the other jammy black-cherry flavors smacking of dark chocolate. This bottling was rated the Best North Coast Syrah at the 2009 California State Fair. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.