• 2012 Zinfandel
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Better than the rest Recent Press

The island Kaštela, in Croatia, appears to be Zinfandel's birthplace, where an almost extinct variety, known locally as Crljenak Kaštelanski, has been shown to have the same DNA as Zinfandel. The grape variety has been grown in Croatia since the fifteenth century and the earliest recorded name for this grape was Tribidrag, and remains the grape's official name in some ampelographies. The vine made its way to Italy, where early ripening clones of this variety, named Primitivo, have been farmed in Puglia for over two centuries. The grape variety arrived in America in the late 1820's, sent to a Long Island nurseryman, who imported it from the Austrian Imperial nursery in Vienna. After the California Gold Rush of 1849, shipments of New England vine cuttings, some named Black St. Peters, were destined for San Francisco. Budwood was sold to the hundreds of unlucky prospectors who turned to farming and it was in California that the grape soon became known as Zinfandel. Zinfandel vines thrive in Australia, South Africa, the south of France, Italy and Croatia, yet, it is California that established the standard of excellence for Zinfandel.

[left] Brothers, Aaron and Justin, doing punch downs. Navarro's Mendocino Zinfandel was fermented in open-top tanks and punched down by hand to keep the tannins supple, then aged in French oak barrels for eleven months. Our open-top fermentors have removable stainless steel tops [right] for facilitating punch-downs.
Navarro's winery staff for the 2012 harvest. [below] Four people run the winery most of the year, but when we are processing grapes sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, we need a much larger crew in order to give every worker a well-deserved day off each week.

ZAP (Zinfandel Producers of America) conducts an annual tasting of Zinfandels in San Francisco, where some ten thousand people taste six hundred Zinfandels from about three hundred producers meaning there were lots of competitors, in various competitions, for Navarro's Gold Medals. Nothing shy about this wine; big, bold with moderate tannin, rich texture and plenty of robust alcohol for a spicy lasagna. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.

  • Harvested: Oct. 10 to 20, 2012
  • Sugars at harvest: 26.8° Brix
  • Bottled: Aug. 16 & 19, 2013
  • Cases produced: 2,163
  • Alcohol: 14.8%
  • Titratable acidity: 6.4 g/L
  • pH: 3.78