What quality of grape could one possibly expect to find in a $14.00 bottle of red wine? Lately, in the wine biz, it has meant shipping bulk wine in large plastic containers from half way around the world, bottling it and slapping a label on it. That isn't the case here. This wine is a blend from eight different grape varieties, and every lot was grown right here in Mendocino, supporting our hardworking neighbors. Take Zinfandel. We purchase grapes from the same five Mendocino Russian River Valley growers every year. The vines average over 50 years of age limiting yield and ensuring character; all are goblet trained for light exposure, planted on well drained soil, with a grower committed to delivering quality fruit. One of the most creative parts of winemaking is blending. Since the wine we bottle is the same wine we drink at home, we're pretty picky.
The 2008 Navarrouge aromas suggest black licorice, cypress, blueberry and toasty oak. The flavor profile is similar to Zinfandel's with juicy blackberry flavors; Cabernet Sauvignon adds a firm but flexible backbone of tannin.
The average age for Zinfandel vines that produced the fruit for our Navarrouge is over 50 years.
Only 60% of the Zinfandel we produced in 2008 was actually bottled as Navarro Zinfandel, leaving a lot of really good wine in the barrel. Imagine having savory "leftovers" from eight different red grape varieties, and all from old vines. The beauty of Navarrouge is that it doesn't have to be true to variety, it just has to be good. We had fourteen good lots of wine from eight red grape varieties to choose from. In descending percentages, this Navarrouge is crafted from Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Valdiguié, Pinot Noir, Carignan, Syrah, Grenache and Cinsaut.
These ancient Valdiguié vines are monumental. One of Valdiguié's characteristics is that the sugars are low when the grapes are fully ripe. Zinfandel has a lot of sugar when ripe so a blend of the two yields a wine with moderate alcohol.