30% of the fruit for the Mendocino County Pinot Noir came from Iron Oak Vineyard in Potter Valley, an inland valley that characteristically produces Pinot Noir with mid-palate texture, soft tannins and red fruit flavors. The remaining 70% was sourced from various Anderson Valley vineyards. Handley Estate, Helluva, Pratt, and Day Ranch are all situated in different areas of Anderson Valley. Those located near Philo are just further enough west and north that they can be as much as 10-15 degrees cooler than vineyards closer to Boonville and the one in Potter Valley. For this reason, there is more than a month’s difference in optimum time of ripening between the “Deep End” and the other locations. Throughout the 2007 growing season, the weather was near perfect, creating a vintage that allowed Handley to bring in fruit with excellent texture and flavor from all locations.
Destemming and gently crushing the fruit left about 40% whole berries in the fermenter. After crushing, the must was cold-soaked for three days before adding yeast to start fermentation. Handley used six different yeasts to promote complexity in this blend. When fermentation was complete, the must was pressed. After three days’ settling, the wine was racked to French oak barrels (35% new) to finish malolactic fermentation. The wine aged in oak for nine months before bottling.
The Mendocino Pinot Noir is a fruit-forward wine that is multi-layered. It shows aromas of blackberry and dark plum in addition to nuances of dried cherry, blueberry, cinnamon & vanilla. Cherry flavors continue with hints of raspberry and a suggestion of toast.
A smooth texture carries the flavor into a long finish. This wine is versatile for food pairing. It has a special affinity for caramelized flavors: crisp herb-roasted potatoes & root vegetables; roast leg of lamb with rosemary& garlic; grilled teriyaki beef or chicken; and Bolognese style lasagna.
Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyards: 30% Iron Oak, 20% Handley Estate, 17% Helluva, 10% Pratt, 8% Day Ranch, 15% Other
Appellation: Mendocino County
Harvest Dates: Aug. 30 - Oct. 8
Brix at Harvest: 23.8º Brix
Fermentation & Aging: Stainless steel open top tanks9 months in French Oak (35%New)
Bottling Date: August 12, 2008
Titratable Acid: 0.55 g/100 ml
Residual Sugar: 0.04% (Dry)
Cases Produced: 1496
Handley Cellars is a small (about 14,000 cases per year) family-owned winery in California's Mendocino County, bonded in 1982. Located at the northwest end of the Anderson Valley on 59 acres of the original Holmes Ranch. Still standing on the property are the now-refurbished ranch house, barn, and the original water tower.
Handley Cellars offers a wide variety of wines that complement today's diverse cuisine with its worldwide influences. Winemaker Milla Handley seeks to make balanced wines that possess distinctive varietal characteristics, wines that reflect the soil and climate in which they were grown.
Handley Cellars quality starts with their vineyards: one at the estate in Anderson Valley, and one in the Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County.
Handley's beautiful tasting room is located 6 miles northwest of Philo, California, right on Highway 128. They offer tours by appointment, and our garden courtyard is open for picnics. For more information, visit www.handleycellars.com