Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying floral aromas, fruity flavors and high acidity. The grape originated on the Rheingau in Germany and the first mention of Riesling was in the 15th century. It has a parent-offspring relationship with Gouais Blanc—one of the oldest and most prolific grape varieties—and shares a parent-offspring relationship with 80 other grape varieties including Aligoté, Chardonnay, Gamay Noir and Furmint. With such a distinguished pedigree it is amazing that Riesling is not currently more popular in the United States. Because of its high acidity and tendency to rot from botrytis
, Riesling produces some of the world's best sweet wines and Navarro counts the Cluster Select Late Harvest
Rieslings as some of our star performers.
Jim, winemaker, setting up a pump to rack wine from ovals. These casks are large and release a lot of gas when wine is fermenting inside.
Manuel, cellarmaster, has washed and is hanging up large fermentation traps to dry. When wine is fermenting in an oval, the trap is filled with water and inserted into the bunghole; carbon dioxide creates a musical rhythm as it bubbles through the water and the traps keep any critter from entering the cask.
However, despite insufficient “noble rot” for a dessert wine, Riesling can also produce a beguiling dinner wine like this bottling. Riesling has plenty of acid in Anderson Valley and this bottling retains about 0.5% residual grape sugars; a low pH enhances the wine and the finish tastes surprisingly zingy even with a tad of RS. Planted in a vineyard where chilly air drains down through a precipitous creek trail, Navarro's Riesling is one of our latest picked varieties; drink it cold and chilly like the field it comes from. Vibrant white peach, green apple and lemon flavors with zippy acidity and a dry finish. Gold Medal winner.