• 2020 Navarrouge
    Red Table Wine
    Mendocino County
    • (750 ml) Sold Out!
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Freaked Recent Press

The smoke-filled 2008 harvest is memorable but not in a good way. When we tasted our 2008 Pinot Noirs during barrel aging and blending trials prior to bottling, no smokiness was detectable—but once they spent time in the bottle we realized that thousands of cases of our Pinot Noir had developed strong smoky flavors. We decided to sell the affected wines under our secondary Indian Creek label for pennies on the dollar. We have no regrets about being honest with our customers but midway through the 2020 harvest, when forest fires started in inland Mendocino and smoke slowly started drifting towards Anderson Valley, you can bet we were freaked. From grapes harvested before the smoke drift, we were able to bottle a small amount of Méthode à l'Ancienne Pinot. In an attempt to avoid smoke-affected wines, the grapes picked last, under the most smoky skies, were successfully turned into rosé since we could avoid smokiness due to abbreviated skin contact. The grapes harvested under mildly smoky conditions were turned into red wine; they tasted fine in the barrel, but would they turn smoky in the bottle?

Loading compost into a spreader hauled behind a tractor.
[above] Loading compost into a spreader. After we've removed the juice from destemmed grapes, we produce compost from the many tons of the leftover skins, seeds and stems.
Navarro's Winery Crew in 2010, remains the same in 2022

[above] Navarro's winery crew in our primary cellar where this red wine was aged in barrels for 10 months. This photo was taken in 2010 and the winery crew remains the same—one of the reasons for the consistent quality of our wines. Solar panels provide all of the electricity necessary to run lighting and refrigeration to maintain a consistent cellar temperature.

To be safe we bottled most as our lowest priced reds: Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and this Navarrouge. As luck would have it, none of the 2020 Pinot wines turned smoky in the bottle which was both pleasing and a bit disheartening. Smoke taint anxiety meant we wound up with less of our most expensive Pinot Noir alongside expanded quantities of bargain-priced Navarrouge. This bottling is 68% Pinot Noir from top-quality blocks in our South Hill, Hammer Olsen and other estate vineyards. The remainder is 20% Syrah along with 7% Zinfandel and 5% from other varieties—produced primarily from 2019 grapes. Pinot flavors of red cherry dominate with accents of black cherry and blackberry from the Syrah and Zinfandel. Gold Medal winner.

  • Harvested: Sept. 1, 2019-Oct. 14, 2020
  • Sugars at harvest: 23.4° Brix
  • Bottled: Aug. 16-17, 2021
  • Cases produced: 2,263
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Titratable acidity: 5.3 g/L
  • pH: 3.74