"Killer" wines

2005 Dom. Vissoux, Fleurie Poncie:
A different sort of wine from what it was on release – gone is the hyper-juicy, vivacious fruit bomb of youth – this is firmer, somewhat closed, with more discrete fruit and considerable structure. I loved this on release, I like it now. Following it into the future should be a fascinating exercise.

1999 Hamacher, Pinot Noir:
Once opened to the air for an hour or so, a pretty stunning version of Oregon pinot – black cherry predominates but there is nuance and depth. ‘Still a young wine and no bottle bouquet as yet. A lesson for me – well made pinot noir’s shelf-life is much longer then one expects – this, at ten years, is barely an adolescent.

2008 Navarro, Muscat Blanc Dry:
I have written on this before – a lovely wine.
I took a bottle to a tasting at a local wine store. The store opened several inventory bottles to taste in hopes of selling them and this sort of stole the show. I’ll try to be more considerate of that retail motive in the future. But it really is a wine that stands out and it appeals to a fair cross-section of wine drinkers. 13.6% alcohol, $19 (less by the case) and they ship a case anywhere in the U.S. for one cent.

2002 Gravity Hills, Syrah Killer Climb:
13.9% alcohol from Paso (west side); from what I understand, GH does not get the fruit from this vineyard anymore – ‘wish I knew who did; very dark on the nose, black plum, freshly turned earth, faint red fruit accents and an allspice/nutmeg note; very concentrated in the mouth with bright flavors that follow the nose and add a cooked fruit/slightly bitter/Baker’s chocolate note, balanced, a worsted almost rustic texture, well integrated but the structure is always playing in the background; long, dry (but not drying) finish. Although this is CA fruit it has the structure and even some of the nuance of Hermitage. I look forward to trying this over the next decade or so.
I suspect some folks will like this and some won’t – I love it.

Best, Jim

Nice notes, and I do enjoy most white wines I’ve tasted from Navarro.


Just reloaded on the Navarro Muscat. I share Jim’s enthusiasm for that one.
Got some more of their Gewurtz too.
Navarro is a Cali gem that flies under the radar for the most part.


Could you add a touch more about the taste/nose of the Navarro? I’m inclined to buy a case on your recommendation!

FWIW: Here was my take on the Navarro Muscat from last month:

Nearly bone dry wine. Almost clear in the glass, void of color but for a faint yellow tinge. Tropical fruits on the nose. Delciously stony and crisp. Nice blast of acidity. Great with spicy fish tacos on a hot spring night.

Dennis is pretty much spot on.
I think there is an interplay of juniper and ginger aromas and flavors that makes it pretty unusual on both the nose and palate. The floral element is also very attractive.
And I bought a case because I think it will age at least medium term.
Best, Jim

Thank you both. I’ll give it a shot. Have been trying to amass about 3-4 cases of summer quaffers and this seems to be a good start.

Thanks for the notes Jim. I recently posted a note on the 07 Muscat Blanc. That and their dry Gewurz are two of the best whites from California for the money in my mind.

Don’t snooze on the Gewurtz or Rose.
Navarro has several sample packages that offer a chance to try several at nice prices.
Good luck.

I went to the website and it looked to me like, to get a case shipped to where I live, I would need 7000 pennies and have it sent to a wine store to sell to me. Is there someone at the winery I can call to learn about bargain shipping rates? I have wanted to try the Navarro dry Muscat for years and have not been able to get my hands on it. Wine-Searcher only shows it in California.

I am informed elsewhere that there is fine print regarding shipping to states with restrictive laws. Hence, I stand corrected.
Of course, calling the winery is always an option.
Best, Jim

Hey Jim, you should know that you are an official “market mover”. I ordered some Navarro Muscat today.

Thanks for your notes – I always enjoy them.

and I thought this would be about Austrian wines from the 80s . . .