• 2010 Shiraz
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The price of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir continues to soar and this year we've seen Anderson Valley Pinot sell for up to $6,000 a ton. Pricing at these levels can only result in expensive wines. One of our goals is to produce wines at various price points so that a bottle of Navarro can be a regular treat. When scouting for good vineyards with mature vines for our "Rhône-style" rosé, we were offered two fields of Syrah vines that we thought would make good red wine: well-tended, mature vines in well-drained fields from growers we respect. This bottling is from two vineyards located on the benchlands above Talmage, which has an ideal climate and location for Syrah. We purchase Grenache and Zinfandel grapes from these vineyards on a regular basis and the two additional fields looked promising for a Shiraz style Syrah. Dark Horse Vineyards is at an elevation of about 950 feet and the vines are grown biodynamically.
Syrah berries dissected. [right] All the color in Syrah wines is extracted from the skins; the juice is colorless in this and most other red wine (vinifera) grape varieties. Grapes with red colored juice are called teinturier and in America the most common teinturier grape is Alicante Bouchet; it gained favor for stretching wine during Prohibition as it could be diluted without detracting from the appearance.
Washing barrels prior to filling. [below] We aged this wine in seasoned French oak barrels, which adds some coconut and vanilla overtones to the rich fruit.

Up the hill at about 1,570 feet is Eaglepoint Vineyards; it's a cooler site for Syrah grapes and the wine adds crispness to the blend as well as some peppery aromas. Rather than call this wine Syrah, we decided to call it Shiraz, as is the norm in Australia. At our morning staff tastings we agreed that we would like some of the jammy notes typically found in Aussie wines; we worked this magic by adding a generous dollop of Old Vine Zinfandel. Blackberry intensity is a lovely match with rosemary infused lamb chops or cassoulet. Gold Medal winner.

  • Harvested: Oct. 4 to 14, 2010
  • Sugars at harvest: 26.8° Brix
  • Bottled: Feb. 17, 2012
  • Cases produced: 969
  • Alcohol: 14.6%
  • Titratable acidity: 6.9 g/L
  • pH: 3.70