Riesling vineyard is sited in a sheltered mini-valley at the base of a forested canyon. During the summer and fall, chilly air from the forest cools the field we once camped in, and after the first autumn rains, the humidity remains at close to 100% most of the day, greatly increasing the chance of rot spreading quickly throughout the vineyard. The field is divided into three blocks, each featuring a different clone and rootstock combination. Clone 49 is a relatively recent import from Alsace; it typically has the highest brix (ripest fruit) at harvest. Clone 90 is one of the latest clones to come from Germany and we find the selection exceptionally aromatic. Clone 10, imported some time ago from Germany, is one of the most widely planted clones in the state; its grape berries also seem to be the most prone to the noble rot, so fruit from this block represents the major component in this bottling. In 2016, when we were ready to harvest the unrotted Riesling for a dry wine, we started harvest in this field by inspecting every cluster and removing those affected with botrytis for this bottling; consequently, this late harvest cluster select
wine was actually harvested a day before our dry Riesling.
Sheep keeping the grasses mowed in Navarro's
Campsite Riesling vineyard during springtime.
After pressing the grapes and fermenting the juice, we had only 280 gallons of this elixir so this is our tiniest bottling of cluster select Riesling since 1983. Luscious flavors suggesting papaya, honey, orange marmalade and passionfruit lead to a surprisingly tart, clean finish. Gold Medal winner. Best of Show.