One of the qualities of a good Pinot Grigio is a high level of acidity which can be achieved by harvesting early when the grape's natural acidity is high. Being California winemakers, we generally harvest the fruit a little riper than our European counterparts in order to achieve a generous flavor profile; typically grapes for Navarro's white wines are harvested when the sugar levels are close to twenty-four percent. Three years ago, we harvested grapes for our 2015 Grigio a little less ripe than our normal regime. Pleased with the results, we harvested the grapes for our 2016 Grigio even less ripe than the prior vintage; again we were delighted with this crisper wine but thought it could have benefited with some riper flavors. In 2017, we decided to harvest the primary lot of grapes destined for the Grigio even less ripe - and more acidic - than the prior vintage. Our idea was to blend it with a smaller lot that we harvested with a riper flavor profile to achieve a wine with both high acidity and ripe flavors. After a series of five tastings, a blend was selected from three different lots with the more acidic lot as the dominating theme.
The Pinot family of grapes comes in three basic colors: white, red and gray. Because Pinot grape clusters are compact and cone-shaped, it can be difficult to tell the varieties apart except when the grapes are ripe. Pinot Gris is a mutation of Pinot Noir, and the mixture of white and gray berries in the same cluster is testament to Pinot's genetic instability.
Jim inspecting an oval. The ovals Navarro uses for fermenting and aging Pinot Gris are assembled in France. We had a problem with one leaking so it was returned to France for repair. Jim is inspecting the oval on its return to make sure the work was done correctly.
Had someone suggested three years ago that we would now be harvesting fruit for a still wine at under twenty-two percent sugar we would have politely smiled and thought the person knew nothing about California winemaking. Asian pear and apple flavors with a touch of tarragon and a zingy finish make this summer special easily quaffable. Silver Medal winner.
Buy it by the case for only $162.00; a savings of $42.00. That's only $13.50 per bottle.