Handley Dry Creek Syrah 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma County, California
The Handley Vineyard Syrah is rich and complex. Much of this complexity is due to the fact that it is made from two Syrah clones from our Dry Creek Valley vineyard. Clone 877 provides dark raspberry and chocolate notes, and clone 470 contributes much of the structure and tannins. The wine offers aromas of blueberries and cinnamon. The blueberry notes continue on the front of the palate, moving into strawberries and chocolate through the long textured finish. Fruity flavors, soft tannins, and good texture all combine to make this Syrah pair with bold flavors. Try it with duck and rabbit.
Handley Cellars Winery
Handley Cellars is a small (about 14,000 cases per year) family-owned winery in California's Mendocino County, bonded in 1982. We are 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.
At Handley Cellars we offer a wide variety of wines that complement today's diverse cuisine with its worldwide influences. Handley's winemakers Milla Handley and Deny Dudzik seek to make balanced wines that possess distinctive varietal characteristics, wines that reflect the soil and climate in which they were grown.
Our quality starts with our vineyards: one at our estate in the Anderson Valley, and one in the Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County.
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About Sonoma County
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.