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2016 Chardonnay
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What makes this Chardonnay different from the wine we label as Première Reserve? First, the Reserve was produced from 100% Philo-grown Chardonnay whereas 28% of this Mendocino bottling was produced from grapes grown in Potter Valley. Potter Valley's climate is warmer with a shorter grape-growing season than Philo resulting in a flavor profile that tends to suggest red apple and melon rather than Philo's poached pear and citrus flavors. Second, all the wine for the Reserve underwent a malolactic fermentation while only 25% of this bottling did. Third, 25% of the Reserve was aged in new barrels, adding a toasty element, whereas all the wines in the Mendocino were aged in seasoned barrels and puncheons. This bottling sports a wider range of Chardonnay's fruit flavors with a decreased emphasis on flavors derived from the French oak barrels.

Deborah washing a Chardonnay barrel, 1979. [right] We've been making Chardonnay at Navarro for a long time!
Weed-eating our Hammer Olsen Chardonnay vineyard. [below] We don't use herbicides at Navarro which means we have a lot of weeds to get rid of each spring.

Additionally, the lack of malolactic fermentation in 75% of the blend results in higher acidity in the wine. Compared to the 2016 Reserve, this Mendocino bottling seems lighter, crisper and more fruit-driven. While not quite as complex as the Reserve, this blend was produced from nine separate lots from four vineyard sites. Try it with chicken cooked in coconut milk with onion, ginger, cumin and coriander. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.

[left] Navarro's 2016 Chardonnay grapes at Mendocino County fair.

Harvested: Sept. 6 to 21, 2016 Sugars at harvest: 24.0 Brix
Bottled: June 13 to 16, 2017 Cases produced: 3,291
Alcohol: 13.8% Titratable acidity: 7.1 g/L
pH: 3.22

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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