This is our third vintage of Pinot Blanc from Jason and Susanne McConnell's well-tended vineyard in the Russian River watershed near Ukiah and we are tickled by the consistent quality from vintage to vintage. The climate in Ukiah is warmer than the Anderson Valley, especially during harvest, and we didn't want September heat to burn off the variety's floral, stone-fruit aromatics; we decided to harvest these grapes a bit less ripe than we typically do for Navarro's Philo-grown whites. In retrospect, it was a good decision as our goal was to produce a crisp, refreshing white for spring and summer. In all three vintages, Navarro's tasting panel has preferred the Pinot Blanc with a small addition of Chardonnay, which fills out the mid palate and lengthens the finish.
The Pinot Blanc is so quaffable that it seems to evaporate. We decided that a bigger glass would be in order; one that holds a full 750 ml bottle of wine.
Navarro's 2014 winery crush crew. Navarro employs four full-time winery workers year-round, but at harvest, when we are processing grapes, the crew expands to about fourteen. If you are in Philo at harvest, you may be pressed into service.
Pinot Blanc is not a varietal for the cellar; its beauty is in its freshness. Although we've received comments on this wine that are extremely flattering, one customer's modest comment pretty much sums up our feelings: “straightforward, refreshing and well made. perfect summer wine.” There are no oak flavors to beef up the weight or mask the fruit. The wine is dry, crisp and light enough to pair with food on a warm summer day. Two prior vintages (and hopefully this vintage) of Navarro's Pinot Blanc have garnered Gold Medals at the California State Fair. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.