During a morning staff tasting—the final tasting for this bottling—we realized how much our morning tasting routine has altered. Pre-Covid, our group sat around a large table and poured the wines—typically five—to participants from 750 ml bottles. Converting to a Covid-deterring model was a scramble. These days each taster occupies a solitary space for tastings, one person delivers 125 ml sample bottles to each location prior to the tasting and then we communicate through Zoom. It works but we miss the in-person banter and laughter. The winner for this bottling is a 60/40 blend of wine from two fields. The 60% portion is from grapes grown at our next-door neighbor Valley Foothills Vineyard—a portion of this lot is also part of our Estate Bottled bottling.
Ulises hooking up a pump to a refrigerated French oak oval. Navarro's Cuvée Traditional Gewürztraminer is fermented and aged sur lie in these casks for about nine months. As the yeast's cell walls slowly break down, they release aromatics and flavors that enrich the wine and help retain its freshness.
This field was specifically planted for Navarro over 20 years ago and is farmed professionally to Navarro specifications. The 40% portion is from grapes grown on Navarro's North Hill. This site, similar to our West Hill, receives cool ocean breezes each afternoon and historically has produced our most aromatic Gewürz grapes. Since the North Hill was replanted only five years ago, the fruit from these young vines wasn't yet a candidate for our Estate Bottled cuvée. The grapes were destemmed then pressed with no skin contact time—to avoid any pickup of smoke from the skins—before the juice was transferred to a refrigerated tank for the grape solids to settle. Clarified juice was racked to refrigerated French oak ovals then fermented and aged sur lie for seven months. Floral aromas, crisp citrus-tropical flavors with a lengthy, dry finish. Gold Medal winner.