Handley Anderson Valley Pinot Noir – Organic
Centuries ago, Pinot Noir earned a reputation among the winemaking monks of Burgundy for expressing terroir better than any other variety in the region. Today, wines from California’s remote Anderson Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) show that the grape does the same in their neighborhood. The 15-mile-long valley sits just 10 miles from the cool, blustery Pacific Coast, and the appellation is dotted with great sites to grow Pinot Noir.
Anderson Valley’s appeal to Pinot makers is its cool climate. It facilitates the sort of elegant, restrained Pinot more akin to Oregon’s Willamette Valley or Burgundy than sunnier climes to the south like Napa, Sonoma and Santa Ynez Valley, regions that tend to turn out bigger, riper, plumper wines.
Surrounded by redwood forests and blanketed in atmospheric fog, the Anderson Valley is one of California’s most picturesque appellations. Centered on the Navarro River, the region is kept cool by moist air flowing in from the Pacific Ocean. High and low temperatures can vary as much as 40 or 50 degrees within a single day, allowing for slow and gentle ripening of grapes which will in turn create elegantly balanced wines.
We’ve been carrying Handley wines since we opened the shop in 2003; I’ve always admired Milla Handley‘s hands-off approach to winemakeing and her more than competitive pricing. Handley firmly believes in a conscious and conscientious approach to farming and winemaking, and purchase grapes from small, local, family growers, and whenever possible, selecting fruit that is farmed organically. Winemaker and founder Milla Handley died a few weeks ago. She was a great winemaker and a lovely person.
Working with carefully tended, exceptional sites, they strive to create wines which faithfully reflect the unique characteristics of the vineyards and viticultural region, focusing on the Anderson Valley. They select vineyards that fully ripen at lower brix, resulting in wines with low to moderate alcohol levels. From start to finish, they are mindful of the impact on the Anderson Valley, and the implications that farming and wine making choices for future generations.
Winery Notes: “This wine blended from five different vineyards Handley Estate (50%), RSM Estate (19%), Helluva (15%), Lost Creek (9%), and Roderick (7%) embodies the spirit of Anderson Valley. Aromas of warm cherry pie, cola, violets, and a hint of clove on the finish. Round and full on the palate with flavors of red cherries, ripe plum, and notes of cardamom with soft tannins and vibrant acidity to focus the long finish. Aged for 10 months in all French Oak barrels (25% new).”