Saturday, June 16, 2018
Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs From Handley Cellars/The Pinot Noir Festival/New Releases
Spring has mover quickly into summer and we have some amazing new features with Randy Schock and Handley Cellars! That's Schock with 2 C's.....Today we will introduce you to 4 new releases from the greatest winery in Anderson Valley,and maybe also open the rose of Pinot Noir!Tasting notes and a look at the winemaker's past,present and future,will soon follow! First four new Pinot Noirs. The Handley Cellars label reflects Milla’s love and respect for nature. Her parents were collectors of tribal art, and she was raised in a household surrounded by objects reflecting the beauty of the natural world. When working on the design for the Handley Cellars label, she was inspired by the ancient tribal textiles of the African Kuba tribes. The tasting room décor, too, reflects her love of tribal art. Milla’s commitment to responsible and organic farming began long before it was popular, and led her to obtain organic certification for the Handley Estate Vineyard in 2005. Every case the winery produces is crafted from grapes grown in the Handley family vineyards in Anderson Valley, or by trusted growers in Mendocino County appellations such as Anderson Valley, Mendocino Ridge, Potter Valley, and Redwood Valley. In 2013 Randy Schock was promoted to Co-Winemaker where he thrives on making balanced wines that showcase the local terroir. He is dedicated to his work and appreciates that his career is closely tied to agriculture and the natural cycles of the seasons. Pleasing Handley customers is one of Randy’s greatest motivations. The grapes for 2015 Anderson valley Pinot Noir originate from three very different vineyards bringing a cornucopia of fruit flavors. Following two years of successive drought, the 2015 vintage was another very early vintage here in Anderson Valley. We were concerned that sugars would rise before full fruit maturation. Luckily, with little water available, the vines responded with extremely concentrated fruit flavors. Still young and somewhat shy when first opened, given a little aeration this wine shows aromas of berry patch mingled with creaminess and toasty spice notes. Helluva Vineyard provides the candied red cherry and cinnamon Red Hot flavors. Our deep end winery estate vineyard contributes raspberry and boysenberry flavors and bright acidity. And our hilltop RSM vineyard adds blueberry, redwood forest notes, and root beer. This elegant and polished wine is full on the palate with smooth milk chocolate tannins and hints of cedar with fresh acidity focusing the fruit and encouraging another sip. Serve with game hens and mushroom gravy or veal saltimbocca .Our second wine is the 2015 Estate Pinot Noir. The fruit for this wine originates from our Winery Estate Vineyard located on the valley floor in the deep end or cooler part of Anderson Valley. Our Winery Estate Vineyard has been CCOF Organic Certified beginning in 2005. The 2015 Vintage was the warmest and earliest to date. Fortunately, temperatures moderated somewhat at harvest time allowing us to pick at optimal ripeness. 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. This wine features essences of violets, reduced black cherry sauce, caramel, and cinnamon. It has flavors of dark black cherry, ripe red plums, and cinnamon. This Estate Pinot Noir is round and full on the palate with velvety tannins. The bright acidity focuses the fruit punctuating the long and complex finish. The wine was aged for 10 months in all French Oak barrels (33% new) before being sterile filtered for bottling. We now move on to the Helluva vineyard Pinot Noir. The grapes for this wine, Pommard and Rochioli clones, were sourced from the warmer end of the Anderson Valley near Boonville. Effusing from the glass are aromas of candied red cherries and cream with notes of cinnamon and clove. The elegant bright red fruit notes are deceiving as this wine soon moves towards the dark side. Due to its location and the warm and early vintage the wine is concentrated with a brambly-berry fruit character of Himalayan black berries, black cherries covered in dark chocolate, and hints of dusky oak woodland, coyote bush, and chemise. It is round and in the mouth with supple tannins punctuated on the finish with fresh acidity reminiscent of cherry coke. Aged in French oak barrels, 33% new oak, for 10 months and filtered before bottling. We do have ONE more beautiful new release for you.and this is the 2015 RMS Pinot Noir From Handley Cellars.This is an amazing wine! The RSM mountain vineyard was finally producing like a mature established vineyard but two successive years drought and limited water availability created very challenging conditions for the 2015 vintage. Yields were down by about one third but the fruit we got was ultra-ripe and concentrated. Aromas of warm dark fruit huckleberries, blackberries, and yeasty pie crust are prominent with lesser notes of cedar, redwood forest floor, and mushroom broth swirling on the senses. Bold flavors of black cherries, blueberries, and root beer dominate with lesser notes of green tea and soy. The fruit is dense and mouth filling with a long and persistent finish of chalky coffee bean tannins, delicate acidity, and a penetrating saline minerality like an ocean breeze. Aged in French oak barrels, 33% new oak, for 10 months and filtered before bottling. We alos have opened the rose of Pinot Noir..... We picked the grapes at the break of sunrise and they arrived at the winery firm and cold. We gently destemmed and crushed the grapes allowing skin contact time in the press. After four hours of skin contact, we carefully pressed the grapes avoiding any further maceration or tearing of the skins limiting the solids generated. The juice was allowed to settle in tank for two days before racking to a stainless steel tank to begin fermentation. The juice was inoculated with Rhone 4056 and VL3 yeasts selected to enhance expression of esters and thiols in the fruit. Post fermentation, approximately 20% of the fermented wine was combined in neutral oak barrels with yeast lees left over from fermentation. This portion, stirred and aged, on the lees adds texture and roundness to the blend. Malolactic fermentation was avoided and the wine was sterile filtered for stability prior to bottling. No animal derived fining compounds were used in the production of this wine. In the Glass This is our lightest color, lowest amount of residual sugar, and lowest alcohol rose' yet. This refreshing wine expresses a purity of fruit accented by crisp acidity. Bottled fresh with a little effervescence, it exudes essences of freesias, cucumbers, and fresh strawberries. It is round and full on the mid palate revealing flavors of watermelon, strawberries, and créme fraiche, and finishing with a crisp twist of lime. This dry wine is both mouth-filling and -watering at the same time. On the table Perfect for sharing with friends on a warm evening on the patio. This quaffable wine goes well with a Greek cucumber and feta salad with balsamic vinegar or grilled prawns brushed with herb compound butter. Ok take your pick and click on the bottom link.Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the New releases of Handley Cellars .