||And the usual mumblings from the bloody pulpit:
Navarro & Alsace: To my judgement, Navarro probably does the best job
of anyone in Calif in making Alsatian Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris.
Too many times, most wineries leave too much residual sugar. Navarro seems
a bit more restrained along that line, but still they often have a bit
too much Kendall-Jacksonized character to them. Even so, alas, they still
don't hold a candle to a half-way decent Alsatian Gewurztraminer or Riesling.
If I want good Alsatian-style white wine from Calif, I go to..... Viognier
Navarro Reds: The Anderson Valley is one of the very most special sites
in Calif for Pinot. They often have a lot of bright cherry fruit that reminds
me a lot of Oregon Pinots. The Navarro versions of this variety are consistently
among the finest from the Anderson Valley, usually made in a rather Burgundian
style w/ a fair amount of toasty/charred oak. That being said, I am pretty
underwhelmed by the other Navarro reds. They are usually nicely done wines,
but not nearly of the same class of their Pinots. The taste like red wines
made by a Pinot producer. I would like to see a bit more depth and extraction
Navarro Stickies: When it comes to sweet wines, hardly anyone in Calif
does it better; at a better price, and with more consistency, than Ted
& Deborah. Nooooone!! The LateHrvest ones, where the botrytis often
plays a minor role, are just about the best of that genre in Calif. But
when it comes to BA/TBA-style wines; Navarro is the one. They tend to have
much more acidity than many of the other Calif analogs, which makes them
age longer. The tend to be cleaner, w/ less VA, than most of the others.
And always fairly priced.
Anderson Valley Cabernet: Since the Anderson Valley is usually regarded
as prime Pinot country; most folks tend to dismiss it as an area for good/great
Cabernets. The Navarro Cabs I've had would tend to support this assertion.
However, back in the late '70's, Jed Steele, when he was at Edmeades, made
a few absolutely stunning Cabs, from Ciapusci and DuPratt Cabernet grapes;
several of which were bottled under Corti Reserve labels. They were as
fine a Cabernet as any I've had in all of California, in an elegant style.
Howard & Rhoda Sherry, whose cellar is 74.39% made up of Navarro wines,
provided the wines for this tasting and do an exemplary job of keeping
our SantaFe and LosAlamos wine groups exposed/supplied w/ Navarro wines.
Ted Bennett & Deborah Cahn couldn't have better (unpaid) spokespeople
for their wines in the world!!
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