• 2018 Riesling
    Cluster Select Late Harvest
    Anderson Valley, Mendocino
    • (375 ml) $39.00
    • (750 ml) $79.00
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The late show Recent Press

The first of October brought light showers followed by wet, foggy weather. A couple of days later we inspected our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vineyards and fortunately found no rot; we didn't bother to inspect the Riesling where rot isn't usually a problem. Riesling is a late ripener and by the time we got around to harvesting it, we were astounded by the amount of rot. Not just any old rot, but clean botrytis without a trace of funk. We selectively harvested all the clusters with dehydrated, botrytised raisins and destemmed them into bins to macerate with the small amount of juice available. After pressing, the elixir was cool-fermented and when the alcohol approached 10%, the fermentation slowed then finally stopped. The wine, albeit sweet, is delightfully piquant and its high acidity promises a long, delicious life. Double Gold Medal winner. Best of Show. 98 points.

A cluster of riesling that is starting to dry and and concentrate flavors due to botrytis
[above] The raisins in this photo were shriveled by botrytis, a rot that dominates in cool viticultural climates—in spite of the greyish mold, they taste delicious. The shriveling doubles the concentration of Riesling's apple-citrus flavors and the botrytis adds intense flavors that resemble apricot and honey. This cluster select is the wine you should squirrel away for your grandchildren as German trockenbeerenauslese can live for a century or two.
Ted showing off his new press to neighbor Mark in 1977. [below] In those early years, Anderson Valley was a haven for youthful "back-to-the-landers" and we were always surprised how many of our acquaintances lived in teepees. Come to think of it, we live in a repurposed barn.
Ted showing off his new wine grape press to neighbor Mark in 1977

Mark in 1977 tending the riesling vines he planted at Valley Foothill Vineyard, our nextdoor neighbor.
[above] Mark in 1977, tending the Riesling vines he planted at Valley Foothills Vineyard, our next door neighbor. They produced their first Riesling crop in 1979; we liked the wine so much that we've purchased Valley Foothill's Riesling grapes every vintage since. They are the only Riesling grapes we purchase, accounting for about a third of Navarro's Riesling wine production.

  • Harvested: Oct. 14 to 18, 2018
  • Sugars at harvest: 37.0° Brix
  • Bottled: Feb. 27, 2019
  • Cases produced: 554
  • Alcohol: 10.8 %
  • Residual sugars: 20.4 %
  • Titratable acidity: 11.8 g/L
  • pH: 3.00