Navarro's Pinot Noir vineyards are divided into more than thirty blocks, each featuring a unique combination of clone, rootstock or trellis. Although we expect certain blocks to produce the best wines, we've learned that the relative quality between blocks can vary year to year; consequently, the vines in each of these blocks receive the same care, and the fruit produced is fermented in the same "ancient" method and aged in a combination of new and seasoned French oak barrels. For example, the wine produced from the perimeter rows of the Garden Spot—clone 115 on 3309c rootstock—frequently goes into our more expensive Deep End bottling; accordingly the 2017 wine was aged in 40% new French oak barrels.
Weed-whacking under three-year-old vines. To reduce competition with the vines, we must control the weeds under the vine-row. For the first two years, we hand-hoe the weeds out; in the third year and perhaps the fourth, we control the weeds by weed-whacking. Once the vine trunks are strong enough, weed removal is performed using a tractor-driven implement. Herbicides would have been cheaper and faster, but studies have shown that herbicides reduce soil fertility—just one of the reasons why our vineyards are herbicide-free.
However, during our blending trials in the summer of 2018, this lot was relegated to this less expensive but always popular bottling; it was certainly a good wine with no defects, but it just wasn't quite as good as other lots in the Deep End or the Méthode à l'Ancienne bottlings. This complex 2017 cuvée was produced from grapes grown in eleven different vineyard blocks from five different clones of Pinot Noir vines grafted onto three distinct rootstocks. The last two vintages of this Pinot Noir bottling sold out quickly and we expect that this vintage will do the same. The reason? 100% Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 100% fermented in the "ancient" method, 100% aged in French oak barrels and 100% great value. This vintage offers flavors of red cherry, pomegranate and rhubarb wrapped in toasty oak. Gold Medal winner.