One of the differences between this Reserve
bottling and Navarro's other Chardonnays is the emphasis on creating a seamless marriage of barrels with Navarro Vineyards' fruit. We believe that the barrel selection for our Première Reserve
Chardonnay and Méthode à l'Ancienne
Pinot Noir is nearly as important as the grapes we've tended for over forty years. Navarro's goal is to have the oak flavors complement the Philo-driven vineyard flavors so that, as the wine ages, the sense of place isn't lost. Each year we ferment and age the same lot of wine in a selection of new barrels that vary by cooper, oak forest or production techniques. After aging, the wines are tasted and we will follow the wines' development over several years. Navarro's Chardonnay barrel trials for the 1993 vintage identified oak from the Vosges forest as best integrating with Hammer Olsen
Chardonnay and the barrel coopered by Billion, with a medium "toast", was our favorite.
Chardonnay barrels being produced at Billon Cooperage in Burgundy. As oak staves are air-dried, the flavors become less aggressive and more nut-like; one of the reasons that we selected Billon barrels for our
Reserve Chardonnay program is that they air-dried the oak staves three years rather than the customary two.