The Navarro vineyard block that has consistently produced world-class wines, vintage after vintage, is the Muscat Blanc field that bore the grapes for this bottling. The wine is so consistently delicious, year after year, that it inspired one wine reviewer to recently proclaim, “Over several vintages, this is a national treasure.” The soil in this vineyard block is predominantly clay-based, reminding us of the vineyards in Beaumes-de-Venice in Southern France where some of the best sweet Muscat wines in the world are produced. We have been producing dry wines from this block since 1995 and, in spite of the myriad of glowing reviews for this dry version, it remains the wine that many people skip while visiting our tasting room.
Removing spent yeast from an oval. Although we add a little yeast to start the fermentation, the fermenting juice in a large oval will eventually produce twenty or more gallons of yeast, which settles to the bottom of the cask.
Manuel washing down an oval after racking. Navarro's dry Muscat is fermented in a refrigerated oval then, without disturbing the wine, it is aged
sur lie (rested on the yeast that produced the wine) in the same oval for about seven months. Aging in oak clarifies the wine naturally thus preventing the need for heavy filtration. The extended
sur lie aging adds a satisfying roundness to the mouthfeel.
We suspect it's because almost all of the Muscat wines produced in the world are sweet and the perceived "sweetness" of this grape is further reinforced by its floral bouquet. The grapes for this wine were harvested at the same level of sweetness as our 2016 Mendocino Chardonnay and the resulting wines are equally dry. Both were cool-fermented and aged in seasoned French oak, (the Chardonnay in barrels and the Muscat in ovals). However, since Muscat Blanc is one of the few varieties that produces wine which tastes almost like the grape, the oak aromas and flavors found in Chardonnay have been replaced with floral aromatics and crisp fruity flavors suggesting peach, citrus and coriander. A superb partner for grilled spicy sausage or a zucchini and dill risotto, this dry wine ages amazingly well in a cool cellar. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.