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handleypinot 002

Handley Cellars Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley (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 months ago.  She was a great winemaker and a lovely person, and her legacy lives on at her eponymous winery.

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:  "Sourced from our Winery Estate Vineyard located on the valley floor in the deep end or cooler part of Anderson Valley. This vineyard has been CCOF Organic Certified since 2005. The 2016 vintage experienced a return to normal levels of rainfall. We selected our favorite barrels from block 1A planted with Martini clone in 1986, and block 7 grafted in 2010 to Dijon clone 777. The dense dark fruit and acidity of the Martini is balanced by the supple red fruit of the Dijon 777. Essences of violets, reduced black cherry sauce, caramel, and cinnamon. Flavors of dark black cherry, ripe red plums, and cinnamon. Round and full on the palate with velvety tannins. The bright acidity focuses the fruit punctuating the long and complex finish. Aged for 10 months in all French Oak barrels (33% new) before being filtered for bottling.