Navarro produces two Zinfandel bottlings and the more expensive bottling we label as Old Vine. This labeling division probably down plays the quality of the grapes and the winemaking effort that goes into this release, our Mendocino bottling. All the Zinfandel grapes that we vinify are from tiny plots of vines, typically planted generations ago. For years, we've purchased Zinfandel grapes from two blocks owned by Al Tollini and family. The wine we produce from Al's "old" block we frequently bottle as Old Vine Cuvée and the "young" block, planted in the 1950's, is always included in our Mendocino cuvée. This year it constitutes 43% of the blend. We imagine that if vines were people, they would probably feel complimented being described as "young" when in their sixties.
Topping red barrels. We age Navarro red wines in tight-grain French oak barrels; this Zinfandel spent 11 months in our barrel cellar.
Old Vine Zinfandel. Although we don't designate it on the label, this wine was produced entirely from heritage vines that were planted several generations ago.
Over a third of this blend is from Berry vineyards; if you're a Navarro fan, this is a grower whose name you'll recognize. Not only does Ed Berry have a perfect site for a prime vineyard, he is, in a word, meticulous. We've actually seen Ed hem and haw in embarrassment because a couple of clusters of fruit he delivered weren't perfect. The bottling is completed with a 22% addition produced from grapes grown at Eaglepoint ranch up the hill from Ed. We've purchased grapes from this cool mountain site since 1978 and the wines have taut acidity that keeps the wine lively as it ages. The consummate California wine, Zin has its roots in Italian pioneer farmers and the big ripe flavors of boysenberry, black pepper and licorice cry out for a patiently simmered Bolognese sugo over pasta or wood fired pizza. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.