Last year we told you that the Young's vineyard had been sold. We have since learned that the new owners wish to use the grapes themselves in the future, so this is Navarro's 15th and last vintage from these sixty year old vines. Fortunately the new proprietors had hired John Young's brother-in-law Troy, an old-time farmer who knows the vineyard well, to manage the ancient vines. When they were planted near Ukiah many years ago, it is doubtful that the grapes were ever made into a wine that was labeled Chenin Blanc. Since Chenin Blanc is a wine with high acidity and a delicate stonefruit flavor profile, it was used by North Coast pioneer grape growers as a workhorse grape, one that could be blended with the higher yielding, more neutral French Colombard. It was only when Americans started to sip imports from the Loire, pretty Vouvrays and attractive Anjous, that Chenin Blanc started to claim a separate and unique identity.
Troy Satterwhite, a seasoned grape grower now manages these old vines.
We will miss making wine from these old vines!
So if you are a Navarro Chenin Blanc fan, this is the time to stock up since we have not yet found another source of old vines of this variety. This vintage has a flavor profile of lime, tropical fruit and a touch of grapefruit. The Chenin Blanc was aged in seasoned French oak and a blend was selected that includes 10% Chardonnay and 9% Sauvignon Blanc. It is delicious with vegetarian cuisine such as stir fried vegetables with walnuts or even an arugula salad with Ahi.
Many of Navarro's customers like to camp beneath ancient redwoods in Hendy Woods State Park which is scheduled to be closed July 1, 2012. This last stand of virgin redwoods shelters half of all the overnight accommodations in Anderson Valley. A local non-profit has been formed to Keep Hendy Woods Open. Visit their website at www.hendywoods.org and click on Home Page to see how you can help keep access to this grove of ancient redwoods open to the public.