Navarro is one of those can't-miss wineries that somehow manages to routinely produce a wide range of elegant, balanced and diverse wines.
It's long been one of my favorites, in part because of its location—western Anderson Valley.
Whenever I'm headed to the coast to visit the town of Mendocino, Navarro is one of the last wineries I see before heading into a forest of towering redwoods.
As I drive over the hill and the winery comes into view, it's kind of like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
The winery, founded by Deborah Cahn and Ted Bennett, two real pioneers, pays tribute to Anderson Valley's unique climate and offers exquisitely balanced Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
Navarro also pays homage to the great wines of Germany with its Riesling, and of Alsace with its Gewürztraminer.
Then there's a whole mix of wonderful dessert-style wines, late-harvest versions of both the Gewürztraminer and the Riesling.
This week, I tried two great examples of why Navarro is special.
The first, the 2004 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Méthode à l'Ancienne, sells for $25, with a healthy number of cases (5,224). It's my favorite Navarro Pinot of all time. Wonderful balance, focus, purity of fruit and length. Should age well, too.
Just as exciting was the 2004 Zinfandel from Mendocino ($19, 2,193 cases), from grapes grown in a warmer, inland part of the county. It, too, is elegantly styled, supple, with a complex array of raspberry, wild berry and strawberry fruit that's delicate and refreshing.
Give them a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.