Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Navarro Vineyards 2005 Pinot Gris  (Anderson Valley)

Navarro Vineyards

2005 Pinot Gris
(Anderson Valley)

Pinot Gris is a difficult variety to make into wine because the skins of the grapes have more tannins than many other white varieties. The “gris” translates from the French to gray and refers to the nearly brown-pinkish color of the skins, indicating the higher-than-usual level of potential tannin in the wine. Most quality winemakers avoid getting too much tannin in their Pinot Gris by careful vineyard and winery handling, but that still leaves a wine that has potentially more “oomph” in how it develops.

Navarro has been making one of California’s most impressive Pinot Gris for more than a decade, and this version, from one of the cooler vintages of the last two decades, is a slow-maturing beauty. The aroma is floral and spiced pear with a hint of white pepper, and the texture is richer than you might imagine for so perfect an acid level.

The crispness of the wine really shows handsomely with food, where the faint tannins left in the wine by winemaker Jim Klein simply add a bit of grip to the finish, making this a white wine that complements salmon brilliantly.

Navarro, one of California’s most perfect wineries, has a track record of nicely aging wines, including a number of the whites, and the 1995 Pinot Gris, which few people chose to age, has recently shown itself to be a fine example of why this is a grape that has a lot more potential than simply as an early sipping wine.

Reviewed March 23, 2007 by Dan Berger.

The Wine

Winery: Navarro Vineyards
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Pinot Gris
Appellation: Anderson Valley
Grape: Pinot Gris / Grigio
Price: 750ml $17.00

Review Date: 3/23/2007

The Reviewer

Dan Berger

Dan Berger has been reviewing wine for 30 years, always seeking character related to varietal type and regional identity. He has never used numbers to rank wine and doesn’t plan to start any time soon. He believes that weight and concentration aren’t the only worthy aspects of wine and is especially smitten by cool-climate and food-friendly wines that offer distinctiveness.