When consuming a renowned (code word: expensive) wine that is celebrated by the pundits, we feel obliged to spend hours analyzing the elixir. Honestly, that's not the way most wine in our home is consumed. Typically, wine from our cellar is paired with our evening meal. After a hard day's work we aren't looking for a religious experience but rather we're seeking a relaxing evening at home which includes a good bottle of vino. We seldom sit there swirling, sniffing and waxing poetically about the wine; our dinner hour is about enjoying the food, the wine, the conversation and the moment. When wine is part of the meal, it should complement what it is paired with rather than trying to steal the show. It is difficult for a 15% alcohol, tannic, 98 point Cabernet not to overpower most main courses, whereas this unpretentious Chardonnay can complement a wide variety of dishes. The grapes for this bottling are from two Mendocino appellations: two-thirds Anderson Valley Chardonnay, which hints of pear and citrus, and one third Potter Valley fruit that suggests peach and melon.
Sarah selecting a Chardonnay cuvée. Each weekday morning, January into July, Navarro's staff evaluates differing blends of a particular varietal to select the best wine that can be produced that vintage.
Babydoll sheep eating grape leaves. All our recent plantings feature a high trellis that allows us to keep these short-legged munchers in our vineyard throughout the year. We don't use herbicides and the use of sheep for weeding allows us to reduce tractor time and fuel. One of the side benefits is that sheep love grape leaves so when let loose in the vineyard, the first thing they eat are the leaves growing on the vine's trunk reducing a lot of suckering (and sore backs).
The wine was aged in seasoned French oak barrels and only half was put through the secondary fermentation; the resulting wine is dry and crisp with a panoply of ripe Chardonnay fruit unencumbered by strong oak flavors. It slides down easily with a meal of fresh cracked crab, roast chicken or even fish tacos. Gold Medal winner.