• 2018 Pinot Noir
    Anderson Valley, Mendocino
    • (750 ml) Sold Out!
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The French credit soil types for the primary difference between a Burgundian Grand cru—the top rating—and a lesser Première cru, causing many to consider soil as the sole element defining terroir. Fortunately for California, other environmental factors—like climate, the health of the vines or the skill of the vineyardist and winemaker—have a much greater effect on wine quality than soil alone. Navarro produces over 40 vineyard lots of Pinot Noir each harvest and we sold off over 5,000 gallons of bulk 2018 Pinot wine, leaving only our best lots to blend. After selecting the wine for our Deep End and Méthode à l'Ancienne bottlings, there were 17 partial vineyard lots—the source of some of the wine included in our most expensive bottlings—that provided first-class wine for this less expensive bottling. The blend of fruit from our hillside and valley floor vineyards reflects Anderson Valley's terroir in the crisp acidity and cherry-like flavors.
Bins of Pinot Noir lined up for the morning crush, after being picked at night. Ulises on a forklift.
When the winery crew arrives in the morning, bins of night-harvested Pinot Noir are lined up. [above] Ulises is forklifting bins of the fruit to be destemmed while the grapes are still cold—the low temperature delays fermentation. When we destem grapes we don't add anything, allowing the yeasts on the grape skins to multiply.
Capo, retired sheep guardian dog, watches over the night harvesting in the Pinot Noir vineyard.
[above] Capo guarding Navarro's night-harvesting crew. He is retired from guarding sheep against mountain lions and coyotes and we provide him with a heated bed next to our house. But during harvest, he still loves to guard his wards at night in spite of advanced age, severe arthritis and hip problems.

The valley runs west and north, capturing chilly ocean breezes off the Humboldt Current that keep daytime temperatures moderate; grape flavors are fresh rather than jammy or cooked. By harvest time the nights turn cold with diurnal temperature swings of 40°F to 50°F that keep the acidity bright. As with all our Pinot Noir production, the grapes were fermented in the ancient method to avoid harsh tannins, then aged in French oak barrels for 11 months to add roundness and a toasty element to this cuvée. Gold Medal winner.

  • Harvested: Sept. 28 to Oct. 23, 2018
  • Sugars at harvest: 23.5? Brix
  • Bottled: Aug. 16 to 20, 2019
  • Cases produced: 3,580
  • Alcohol: 13.8%
  • Titratable acidity: 5.8 g/L
  • pH: 3.60