Although this wine was aged ten months in pricy French oak barrels, it is fruit driven and Navarro's particular choice of grape varieties has evolved from decades of tasting and experimentation. We've produced Navarrouge for over twenty years but it was in 2009 that we discovered a combination of red grapes whose fruit flavors seemed particularly seamless. One-third of this bottling is Zinfandel, from fifty to seventy year old goblet-trained Mendocino vines, which yield a deeply colored and flavored wine tasting of blackberry, with a briary element that creates a wild vibration, what the French call "sauvage." The next wine we blended in was Syrah, with a black cherry core and a crush of springtime herbs. Syrah has a firm tannin structure which provides a solid backbone; it is 29% of the blend. 2009 was the first time we tried this Zin-Syrah combination and we liked it so much we retained the same ratio in 2010.
It takes an extended series of Navarro's morning tastings to select a Navarrouge blend.
This wine is produced primarily from grapes grown on old goblet trained vines in the Russian River benchlands surrounding Ukiah.
Historically, the next most important grape has been Valdiguié, which sports red cherry flavors, but the vines failed to ripen their crop in 2010. Instead, to achieve a smack of Bing fruit, we splashed 26% Pinot Noir into this Navarrouge. The balance comes from some of Mendocino's oldest goblet vines: Carignan, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Like a hand-stitched quilt, comfy and beautiful, Navarrouge is homey enough for pasta and classy enough for a roast. Gold Medal winner.