This is Navarro's tenth Pinot Blanc vintage and given the speed with which recent vintages have sold, we had hoped to substantially increase our production in 2021. Unfortunately, frosty weather resulted in one of Mendocino County's most skimpy grape harvests in recent memory; all of our 2021 wines are in short supply. Rivino Vineyards, located south of Ukiah, historically has provided the lion's share of our Pinot Blanc grapes.
Night harvesting Campsite vineyard. Wine grape skins contain astringent phenolics and we want to avoid them in white wine. Phenolic extraction is a function of the length of time the skins macerate with the juice and the temperature of the must. The longer the maceration time and the warmer the must, the more extraction will occur. Consequently, we separate the juice from the skins quickly and harvest at night when the grapes are cold.
Their grapes remain the largest component in this bottling—but even though we had agreed to purchase double the acreage in 2021, heavy spring frosts reduced their crop to about a third of normal. While Navarro's own Pinot Blanc vines approached full maturity in 2021 they produced less than the prior vintage. Consequently, this is one of our smallest bottlings of this varietal to date. The cold-settled juice from the Ukiah fruit was cool-fermented in stainless steel then racked to seasoned French oak puncheons to age for three months. The estate-grown Pinot Blanc grapes were harvested fully ripe at 23.4° Brix; after pressing and cold-settling, the clear juice was fermented and aged in a French oak oval sur lie for four months prior to blending with the other lots. Similar to prior vintages we added a bit of Chardonnay to improve body and lengthen the finish. An herbal springtime bouquet whispers green apple and honeydew with a bright, minerally finish. Gold medal winner.