• 2020 Rosé
    100% Grenache Noir
    • (750 ml) Sold Out!
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Smoke-free zone Recent Press

We announced last year that the 2019 vintage for this rosé was our last since the 2020 Pallini grapes were sold to another winery. We started looking for a replacement heritage Grenache vineyard but gave up the effort in August when smoke from the California wildfires began to cover the skies in inland Mendocino; we knew that most of red wine grapes would be lost or diminished by smoke taint. Summer weather had been hot and the grapes ripened early and we completed our harvest in early September. Several weeks later, in early October, we received a phone call from Al Tollini who has supplied Navarro with quality grapes for over three decades. Al said he had a field of Grenache, and because of its location, he was convinced it was smoke-free.

Rose of Grenache being bottled in June.
[above] Rosé of Grenache being bottled in June. The filling machine is an old-timer, circa 1940 and was certainly built to last. We acquired it over 30 years ago after it had been converted to gravity filling for best wine quality. As winemakers, we were concerned about oxygen pickup during bottling, but after checking the wine with an O2 meter in tank and bottle, before and after, it turned out that this oversized 18-spout machine, slowly filling bottles by gravity, resulted in almost no oxygen pick-up.
Jim and Gaia heading out to look at Tollini's vines. [below] Finding the section of a vineyard that produces the best wine requires multiple annual trips over decades. Jim's been walking Tollini's vineyard for almost two decades and knows the vineyard well.
Jim and Gaia heading out to look at Tollini's vines.

We were skeptical but we had the grapes tested and to our amazement they were indeed smoke-free. The specs were perfect for rosé and because of the continuing smoke, we didn't want to let the grapes hang any longer for red wine. This vintage is modestly different from prior releases. In 2020, because of the smoke we weren't able to harvest Al's Carignane, a usual addition to the Mendocino Rosé. Tollini's Grenache vines are mature, but not as ancient as Pallini's. However, Al's selection of top-rated clones delivers an impressive intensity to Grenache's varietal flavors. The flavors hint of strawberry and fresh herbs but what we prize most is the refreshing, mouth-watering acidity. Gold Medal winner.

  • Harvested: Oct.6, 2020
  • Sugars at harvest: 23.5° Brix
  • Bottled: February 26, 2021
  • Cases produced: 564
  • Alcohol: 13.0%
  • Titratable acidity: 6.9 g/L
  • pH: 3.10