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2015 Chardonnay
  Première Reserve
  Anderson Valley, Mendocino
  (750 ml) - $27.00 Buy Now!
  (375 ml) - $15.00 Buy Now!
  (Magnum) - $55.00 Buy Now!
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Lock, stock and barrel Recent Press

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.


[above] 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.
Ulises gently stirs Chardonnay barrels, keeping the yeast lees in suspension with the wine, to complete primary fermentation and encourage a secondary fermentation. [below]


In subsequent years, Billon's barrels continued to win our Chardonnay barrel trials. Then in 1998, Billon introduced oak staves that were air dried an additional year, producing even nuttier flavors. These barrels continue to be our favorite and we ferment the juice from our most flavorful Hammer Olsen field in them. About a quarter of the barrels for the Reserve bottling are new and we age three-quarters of this Chardonnay in seasoned barrels to retain fruit. The result is a rounded entry, Chardonnay flavors of poached pear and citrus framed with barrel and cellar flavors suggesting toasted pine nuts and butter. Gold Medal winner.

Specifications
Harvested: Sept. 7 to 15, 2015 Sugars at harvest: 24.1° Brix
Bottled: June 16 to 17, 2016 Cases produced: 2,192
Alcohol: 13.9% Titratable acidity: 6.5 g/L
pH: 3.40

Navarro Vineyards is at 5601 Hwy 128, Philo, CA 95466 · Tasting Room hours: 9 AM to 6 PM Summer (5 PM Winter)
Sales, Shipping & Customer Service: 8 AM to 6 PM Summer (5 PM Winter) @ 1-800-537-9463 or 707-895-3686 · Fax: 707-895-3647
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