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2017 Zinfandel New!
  Old Vine Cuvée
  Mendocino
  (750 ml) - $25.00 Buy Now!
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In the past we've produced two Zinfandel wines, one labeled simply Mendocino and a premium bottling with an Old Vine designation. For over a decade we've purchased fruit from several blocks within Al Tollini's and Ed Berry's Zinfandel vineyards, but we have decided to limit wine production to just the three blocks that have produced wine of high enough quality to be labeled as Old Vine Zinfandel. Most vintages it is a toss-up whether Al's or Ed's best fields win top honors; in these blocks it's not a question of quality, but rather which wine seems more complete that vintage. We gave some thought to bottling Al's and Ed's wines separately as vineyard designate wines, but we think the wines work better in partnership. The vineyards feature many similarities, including a field selection of clones shared by the local Italian immigrants and vines that are all 60 to 90 years old, head-trained without a trellis and planted in Pinole gravelly loam.

A winery worker throwing a mesh net on top of stainless steel fermentation tank.
We have stainless steel tops for these tanks, but when fermentation is active we place hand-made hoops with a fabric mesh on the top of the tanks. [above] This allows the carbon dioxide and some alcohol to escape, but keeps leaves and critters out.
[below] We destem, then ferment, Zinfandel grapes in these five-ton fermentation tanks each of which produces about 270 cases. Twice a day we push the dry Zinfandel skins back into the fermenting juice. Punching down a foot-thick cap requires some upper-body strength, so the task is assigned to the youngest and strongest members of the harvest crew.
David and Bonnie, working from a plank, using a tool to punch down the floating cap of zinfandel skins during fermentation.


Both growers do a lot of thinning and un-clumping to avoid rot and drop lagging clusters so that the fruit delivered to Navarro is uniformly ripe. Ed's vines are in a warmer location; the fruit is usually the first Zin harvested and the flavor profile is at the blackberry jam and cassis end of the spectrum. Al's vines deliver wines with fresh cherry-raspberry-blackberry flavors topped with spices and pepper. Combined they deliver a complex fruit-forward palate—from cherry to blackberry jam seasoned with exotic spices and pepper—alongside smooth tannins from Navarro's low-tech winemaking regimes. Gold Medal winner.

Specifications
Harvested: Sept. 21 to 23, 2017 Sugars at harvest: 26.4° Brix
Bottled: Aug. 13, 2018 Cases produced: 1,413
Alcohol: 14.7% Titratable acidity: 5.8 g/L
pH: 3.76

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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