The chilly 2010 harvest came to an abrupt end when a major deluge was forecast for mid-October. We sprang into action and for three intense days harvested all the fruit that was still hanging. In hindsight the decision was a good one since few red grapes survived the storm in decent shape. We harvested all of Debbie Pallini's Grenache Gris; a mutant of Grenache Noir, which is ideally suited for rosé wines. Fortunately her vines had a light crop in 2010 so the grapes were fully ripe and the resulting wine displays the charming strawberry flavors that these old gnarled vines consistently produce. In the nick of time we were able to snatch up McDowell Vineyards' Grenache Noir and Rosewood Vineyards' Carignan before the storm. The McDowell Noir fruit was equally ripe and the juice reinforces Pallini's strawberry flavors while adding some interesting herbal notes. The grapes from the seventy-year-old Carignan vines at Rosewood Vineyards historically have added a guava element to our blend, but unfortunately the Carignan grapes didn't reach sufficient maturity in 2010 to be included in the final blend. Navarro's Rosé of Pinot Noir was released in March and sold out by April. We think this more traditional Rosé blend of Grenache grapes will be just as popular with its beguiling flavors of strawberry-rhubarb, papaya and watermelon. Think pink for summer.
Troy Satterwhite pruning Carignan. (top) We were introduced to Troy and Tia's vineyard by their sister Debbie. (below) We love these gnarled Carignan vines and the luscious tropical notes they usually add to Navarro's "Mediterranean" Rosé blend. The base for this unique wine comes from Debbie's ancient Grenache vines: delightful fresh strawberry and spring herb aromas and flavors.