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by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Some New Nararros, plus... - June 27, 2007


We tasted recently (6/27/07) some New Navarros plus a few others :

  1. NavarroVnyds Mendocino Chard (13.6%) 2005: Light gold color; very attractive appley/
    melony/Chard clean/bright bit simple nose; tart bright/clean/zippy pleasant Chard/appley/melony flavor; med.long clean/zippy/bright appley/melony/Chard finish; a bit on simple side but very clean/bright Chard at a good price. $14.00
  2. NavarroVnyds AndersonVlly/Mendocino Chard PremierReserve (13.6%;
    www.NavarroWine.com) 2005
    : Med.light gold color; some caramel/butterscotchy/oak ripe/ melony/Chard spicy/nutmeg lovely nose; rich/textured/lush butterscotchy/creme brulee/oak ripe/melony/Chard quite spicy/nutmeg flavor; very long ripe/melony/Chard butterscotchy/oak finish; ripe & lush but good acidity and right touch of oak; very good value at $19.00
  3. NavarroVnyds AndersonVlly/Mendocino PinotGrigio (13.5%) 2006: Pale yellow color;
    fragrant appley/clean/fruity rather simple nose; tart/clean/simple rather fruity/appley slight earthy/minerally flavor; med.short clean/simple/fruity appley slight earthy finish; rather simple but better than most Italian PG in this price range. $12.00
  4. NavarroVnyds Mendocino TW Edelzwicker (13.5%) 2006: Light gold color; lovely/fragrant/
    perfumed very floral/aromatic very strong nose; soft very strong floral/perfumed/lychee/GWT lush off-dry spicy slightly bitter flavor; med. very floral/spicy/GWT lush/soft finish; lovely perfumed nose but a bit non-deliverer on the palate; very/very good value at $10.00
  5. Adelsheim Auxerrois WillametteVlly (13.7%; GouaisBlanc X PinotNoir; RibbonSpringsVnyd;
    www.Adelsheim.com) 2005
    : Pale gold color; very attractive floral/piney/spicy rather perfumed nose; soft/weak/dilute floral/piney bit dull flavor; very short/almost no lightly floral/piney finish; very nice nose but delivers hardly anything on the palate. $20.50
  6. DomaineEhrhart PinotAuxerrois Val St.Gregoire (12.5%) 2004: Med.gold color; very
    floral/spicy quite fragrant/perfumed/GWT-like/Muscat-like beautiful nose; soft/fat/flabby some floral/perfumed/spicy/Muscat-like weak flavor; short light/floral/Muscatty weak soft/fat finish; very lovely nose but doesn't come thru on the palate. $16.95
  7. NavarroVnyds AndersonVlly/Mendocino WhiteReisling (13.4%) 2005: Med.yellow color;
    very attractive floral/JR/pineapply slight minerally/spicy nose; tart minerally/lean dry very floral /pineapply/spicy/JR slight stoney flavor; long stoney/minerally very floral/JR/pineapply dry finish; lovely aromatics and nice minerality on the palate; very attractive price at $15.00
  8. NavarroVnyds Mendocino TW Rose (13.5%) 2006: Light copper/pink/salmon color; very
    attractive Pinot/cherry/juicy/watermelon slight earthy nose; tart light/zippy watermelon/cherry/PN bit spicy/earthy flavor; med. bright/zippy cherry/PN/watermelon slight earthy finish; very nice/dry rose at a fair price. $13.50
  9. Domaine Joel Delauney AC Touraine Gamay (12%) 2005: Med.dark color; rather earthy/
    dusty bit smoked meats quite fruity/minerally some Gamay/fruity interesting nose; tart rather earthy/dusty/minerally light/Gamay/fruity/cherry flavor; med.short earthy/dusty light/fruity cherry/ Gamay/candied finish w/ little tannins; quite nice/interesting Gamay w/ that Loire terroir. $13.00
  10. MarshalFamilyWines SonomaCnty "OldVine" GamayNoir (13.5%; www.MFWines.com) 2004:
    Med.color; rather toasty/cinammon/oak earthy/tobaccoy slight cherry nose; soft bit bitter/tannic lean/thin rather cinammon/tobaccoy/oak bit bretty little fruit flavor; med. lean/hard/tannic tobaccoy/earthy/oak finish; lacks Gamay fruit and rather hard and tannic. $11.00
  11. Pietroash FeteascaNeagra/Black Maiden SpecialReserve (12.5%) Dealu Mare-Merei/Romania 1999: Light color; badly corked/TCA/musty no fruit nose; harsh/rough corked/musty flavor; much too corked to tell much. $11.30
  12. Kalecik Karasi Kavaklidere (12.5%; www.Kavaklidere.com) Ankara/Turkey 2001: Med.
    light slight bricking color; rather unclean/goat pen/hot climate some Musar-like low fruit bit bretty not very attractive nose; light bit toasty/oak rather hot-climate/goat pen/Morroccoan-like thin slight aged-Pinotish flavor; mercifully short unclean/bretty/goat pen/hot climate slight tired/Pinotish finish w/ little tannin; rather unclean & hot climate in character; way overpriced at $33.80
  13. NavarroVnyds Mendocino PinotNoir (13.7%) 2005: Med.color; pretty black cherry/PN/
    licorice/ruhbarb spicy/mushroomy slight earthy/dusty light toasty/oak nose; rather earthy/dusty some cherry/PN/ruhbarb light toasty/oak flavor; med. earthy/dusty light cherry/Pinot finish w/ light tannins; pleasant Pinot at a good price but lacks the bright fruit of good AndersonVlly Pinot. $15.00
  14. NavarroVnyds Mendocino CabSauv (14.4%) 2002: Very dark color; bit musty/damp
    basement/Kansas root cellar earthy/dusty slight herbal/blackcurrant/Cab nose; rather herbal/ dusty/earthy fairly hard/tannic little fruit some toast/charred/oak flavor; med.long hard/tannic earthy/dusty low herbal/Cab/fruit finish; pretty hard and tannic and needs age but lacks fruit. Easy pass at $26.00
  15. Domaine du Granit Reserve LesCaves Moulin a Vent (13%; VeillesVignes; MeBalP; Eleve
    in fut de chene) Alfred Gino Bertolla) 2003
    : Dark color; rather toasty/oak black cherry/violets bit earthy/dusty slight bretty nose; tart earthy/dusty some toasty/oak rather strong black cherry/ violets/floral bit tannic flavor; med.long some hard/tannic some floral/cherry light toasty/oak finish; needs several yrs; quite an interesting Beaujolais.
  16. NavarroVnyds GWT AndersonVlly/Mendocino ClusterSelect/LateHrvst/Sweet (10.0%;
    RS: 21.4%) 2001
    : Med.dark gold color; some volatile/EA intense peachy/apricotty/botrytis complex nose; very sweet very intense botrytis/peachy/apricotty tart loads of botrytis flavor; very long/lingering intense botrytis/peachy/apricotty quite sweet finish; probably will go another 10-15 yrs; huge botrytis but good acidity underneath; terrific TBA. $26.00/hlf

And The Usual BloodyPulpit :

1. Kavaklidere: This Turkish wine is grown in the Anatolia region on the outskirts of Ankara. It is made from the Kalecik Karasi grape, an indigenous Turkish variety that was once on the verge of extinction. The WebSite, which has an English version, makes for some absolutely fascinating reading. I was underwhelmed by the wine (purchased at the behest of Darrell Corti), it reminded me of Ch.Musar a bit, and had a lot of hot-climate character like Algerian or Morrocoan wines I've had. In typical LosAlamos fashion, extrapolating from a data point of one (sometimes we even extrapolate from NO data points), I see little point in pursuing Kalecik Karasi as a great wine grape variety outside of Turkey. Or inside Turkey.
2. MarshalFamily: This old vines GamayNoir comes from a vnyd near Calistoga just across the border into SonomaCnty. It lacked Gamay fruitiness and may not actually be Gamay but Valdiquie or PinotNoir from what I could taste. Lacks the fruit you find in SteveEdmunds true GamayNoir.
3. Navarro: These were all Howard&Rhoda's pre-release shipment. As always, the Navarro wines represent particularly good values. With an order of 10 cs or over, the 20% discount, plus shipping at < $2/btl; you can get some really good summertime drinking at great values. They consistently do better w/ Alsatian varieties than anyone in Calif. The PinotGrigio was a bit of a letdown for me; not nearly as good as the PinotGris they've made in the past. And, of course, when it comes to BA/TBA wines; Navarro is about as good as it gets.


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