• 2012 Navarrouge
    Mendocino Red Table Wine
    • (750 ml) Sold Out!
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Two thirds of this 2012 vintage of Navarrouge was produced from old vine Syrah and Zinfandel grapes . The grapes of this base cuvée were sourced from benchlands in the Russian River Valley near Ukiah, which is warmer than the Anderson Valley, from growers whose names are familiar in our newsletters: Tollini, Pallini, McDowell and Dark Horse. The remaining third of the wine was produced from unused portions of lots that went into Navarro's 2012 varietal bottlings: Pinot Noir, Grenache and Carignan. Each year the blend of grapes used in Navarrouge varies and in the past the red varieties we've added include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Valdiguié, Petit Sirah, Dolcetto, Cinsaut, Mourvédre and Sangiovese. Regardless of our choice of red varieties, the grapes are fermented in open top tanks, punched down, rather than pumped, to avoid extracting coarse tannins, then aged in French oak barrels, typically for ten months.

Twice a day during red wine fermentation, Lacey, Julia, Jessica and Nick [above] punch-down the skins back into the fermenting juice. This is a task requiring strength and endurance so we generally assign it to our youngest and fittest tasting-room staff and harvest interns.
Bins of fully fermented Pinot Noir ready for pressing. [below] The 2012 harvest was plentiful since each and every wine-grape variety bore a full crop; the only way we could possibly keep up was to start pressing at 3 AM each day. Navarro's harvest hours were slightly longer than your local 7-11 minimart.

After we've added all the red varieties, near the end of Navarrouge blending trials, we sometimes add a smidgen of white wine to improve aromatics and balance the tannins. In the past we've used Chardonnay and Riesling but this year we've added 2.5% puncheon-aged Sauvignon Blanc. Not surprisingly, the 2012 Navarrouge is complex and full bodied with brambly flavors of black cherries, licorice and a hint of tobacco. At this price, the Navarrouge will disappear faster than Nonna's Bolognese sauce. Gold Medal winner.

  • Harvested: Sept. 20 to Oct. 14, 2012
  • Sugars at harvest: 23.5° Brix
  • Bottled: Aug. 20 to 22, 2013
  • Cases produced: 2899
  • Alcohol: 13.4%
  • Titratable acidity: 6.0 g/L
  • pH: 3.80