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2021 Chardonnay
  Première Reserve
  Anderson Valley, Mendocino
  (750 ml) - Sold Out!
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Aiming high Recent Press

Twelve years ago we replanted the Chardonnay block in front of Navarro's tasting room—providing fruit for 56% of this bottling—with a higher than usual trellis so that diminutive Babydoll sheep could remain in the vineyard during the summer, suckering and weeding, but unable to reach the leaves and fruit. In addition to an increased height, we installed multiple trellis wires that guide the growing shoots into an umbrella shape above the fruit, protecting it from direct sunlight. Another 28% of this wine was grown in the lower block of Hammer Olsen Chardonnay—our first sheep-friendly field replanted in 2007—and also in the upper block which was planted in 1996.

An attentive, patient driver is required to successfully operate a tractor with an implement removing weeds in two vine rows simultaneously. [above] Since vines are planted about four feet apart, the implement must move in and out to avoid hitting vine trunks. We don't use herbicides in our vineyards and getting rid of weeds without them is slow and costly.
Tucking shoots in a Navarro sheep-friendly trellis; it's sometimes a stretch for our shorter workers. [below] Although it wasn't part of our original decision, having the fruit higher off the ground and shading it with a high canopy is currently discussed in the viticulture press as a way to ameliorate the effects of global warming.

The fruit from neighboring Valley Foothills Vineyard contributes the final 16% of this cuvée. All the juice was fermented and aged in French oak barrels—25% new—for nine months. For Chardonnay, we prefer barrels from Billon Cooperage in Beaune as the cooperage is willing to air-dry the oak planks an extra year to avoid green oak flavors and focus instead on the nut and spice character that matured wood provides. Apple/lemon aromas, plump mouthfeel with toasty oak tones and a whiff of butter from the secondary fermentation. Gold Medal-winner. 91 points.

Harvested: Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2021 Sugars at harvest: 23.2° Brix
Bottled: June 14 & 15, 2022 Cases produced: 1,615
Alcohol: 13.4% Titratable acidity: 5.9 g/L
pH: 3.47

Navarro Vineyards is at 5601 Hwy 128, Philo, CA 95466 · Tasting Room hours: 9 AM to 6 PM Summer (5 PM Winter)
Sales, Shipping & Customer Service: 8 AM to 6 PM Summer (5 PM Winter) @ 1-800-537-9463 or 707-895-3686 · Fax: 707-895-3647
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