We've purchased Debbie Pallini's Grenache grapes for almost two decades; her gnarled, goblet-trained vines are now almost seventy years old. We originally purchased these grapes to make red wine, but discovered in 2002 that the grapes from this vineyard produced exceptional rosé. We've never been advocates of "single vineyard" designations in California wines. Navarro's experience is that wine is generally improved by mixing vineyard clones, rootstocks and sites and sometimes, even varieties. Although we only bottle one Mendocino rosé each vintage, we harvest, ferment and age a couple of other wines for blending possibilities with Debbie's Grenache.
In Boontling, the local dialect developed at the turn of the century, "downstreamer" means "old timer." We think this downstreamer vine has a lot of character. That's why we love the fruit and the resulting rosé from Pallini's ancient vines.
Debbie Pallini and a load of grapes.
The majority of these wines have made disappointing additions when tasted blind by our tasting panel, so they don't get blended with Debbie's. In our 2013 rosé production, we discovered that the wine produced from Al Tollini's grandfather's Carignane vines, planted in 1948, had a flavor profile that complemented the Grenache. In 2014, we modified our winemaking regime for the Carignane rosé by decreasing the amount of time the skins macerated with the juice, resulting in a Carignane that is more refined and delicate than what we produced in 2013. As a result, Navarro's 2014 Rosé bottling is 17% Carignane which adds delicate spring-herb flavors and an enticing minerality, spectacular with a salmon and crab risotto or cioppino. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.