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Handley Cellars Pinot Noir 2020

Handley Cellars Pinot Noir 2020

Anderson Valley, California

Regular price $39.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $39.99 USD
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  • Tasting Notes

    This wine is blended from three different vineyards, Handley Estate (44%), RSM Estate Vineyard (29%), and Helluva Vineyard (27%) and is made from a mix of clones including Dijon 115, Dijon 777, Pommard, Martini, Wadenswil, and Roederer. From diverse geographic locations, it embodies the spirit of Anderson Valley. The warm vintage combined with copious amounts of RSM mountain fruit has resulted in an intense dark fruit blend. It has aromas of baked cherry pie, huckleberries, cola, violets, and a hint of bay on the finish. It is round and full on the palate with savory flavors of ripe plum, black cherries, caramel with hints of cardamom. It has a luxurious mouthfeel with soft tannins and balanced acidity focusing the long finish. Aged for 10 months in all French Oak barrels (25% new).

    Cases Produced 1498

  • Story

    Handley Cellars is a small, family-owned winery located in California's Mendocino County. Bonded in 1982, they produce around 9000 cases of wine annually. The quality of their wines begins with their CCOF Certified Organic Estate Vineyards in Anderson Valley. Situated at the northwest end of the Anderson Valley on 59 acres of the original Guntly Ranch, the property still features the now-refurbished ranch house, along with the barn and water tower, all constructed in the early 20th century.

    The winery was founded by Milla Handley, who aimed to create balanced wines that showcase distinctive varietal characteristics and reflect the soil and climate of their origin. Continuing this legacy, their current winemaker, Randy Schock, crafts elegant, fruit-driven wines that pair well with a wide range of cuisines. Milla's daughter, Lulu, now oversees Handley Cellars, supported by her husband, Scott Handley, and their baby son, Golden.

    Handley Cellars' charming tasting room is situated six miles northwest of Philo, California, on Highway 128. They offer tastings and tours by appointment in their garden courtyard. Visitors are invited to sample their selections and admire a unique display of folk art collected by Lulu's grandfather, Ray Handley, from various corners of the globe.

  • Somm Notes

    Milla Handley's journey into winemaking began with pioneering steps. Graduating in 1975 as one of the first female graduates in fermentation science from the University of California at Davis, she embarked on a career that would leave an indelible mark on the wine industry. Working under acclaimed winemakers such as Richard Arrowood at Chateau St. Jean and Jed Steel at Edmeades, Milla honed her skills and knowledge, laying the groundwork for her future endeavors. In 1982, fueled by her desire to capture the essence of the extraordinary Anderson Valley, Milla established Handley Cellars, becoming the first woman winemaker in the United States to establish a namesake winery.

    Milla's pioneering spirit extended beyond her winemaking prowess. As a visionary for the remote and rural Anderson Valley, she played a pivotal role in putting the region on the map. A trailblazer for women interested in wine, she shattered glass ceilings and inspired generations. Her commitment to responsible and organic farming led her to obtain organic certification for the Handley Estate Vineyard in 2005, underscoring her dedication to sustainable practices. Throughout her career, Milla emerged as a champion of Anderson Valley as a winemaking region, crafting elegant expressions of Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, sparkling wines, and more. Her impact extended beyond the vineyard, as she became a pillar in the community, known for her community-minded approach and unwavering support. With her retirement in 2017, Milla's legacy continues to shape the landscape of Anderson Valley and the broader wine industry.

    90 pts - Wine Enthusiast
    It's always a pleasure to sip this lively white from Handley. The fermentation process includes mixed vessels of steel, puncheon and concrete; the result is a Pinot Gris that's a far cry from the simplicity the variety is oft-defined by. Enjoy notes of lemon, lime, dewy grass and lawn daisy, pink grapefruit and a minerally wet-stone earthiness all woven into a smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel. — Stacy Briscoe

  • Region

    Located in the rolling hills of the coastal region of Mendocino County, Anderson Valley is a picturesque winegrowing area situated approximately three hours northwest of San Francisco. Stretching about 15 miles from the town of Boonville in the southeast through Philo to the town of Navarro in the northwest, the valley is characterized by its unique climate influenced by morning and evening fog and cool breezes that follow the Navarro River from the coast through the "deep end" of the valley before dissipating inland. This cool climate provides an ideal environment for the cultivation of chardonnay, pinot noir, and Alsatian varieties, which flourish in the region's diverse microclimates.

    With almost 100 vineyards planted on 1457 acres, Anderson Valley boasts a diverse viticultural landscape, with 69% of the vineyard acreage dedicated to pinot noir and 21% to chardonnay. Additionally, the valley is known for its Alsatian-style grapes such as gewürztraminer, pinot gris, and riesling. The inland and central regions of Anderson Valley, near Philo and Boonville, offer progressively warmer microclimates, allowing for a variety of grape-growing conditions within the valley. Despite its acclaimed status, Anderson Valley remains approachable, intimate, and uncrowded, with many of its vineyards being primarily owner-operated. Renowned for its cool climate, the valley's grapes are highly sought after and are used in the production of award-winning sparkling and late harvest wines, cementing Anderson Valley's reputation as one of California's premier winegrowing regions.