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Handley Anderson Valley Pinot Gris 2009

Pinot Gris/Grigio from North Coast, California
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WE90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 growing season was one of the best in recent years, largely due to moderate temperatures all season long, followed by a warm spell at the beginning of September to completely ripen the grapes. The cool weather encouraged freshness and acidity at the time of harvest. The vineyards recovered very well from the 2008 frost and harvest, to deliver excellent flavors and good yields in 2009. Most of the fruit for this blend comes from the warmer end of Anderson Valley near Boonville, which tended to promote more tropical flavors, while the Romani and Narrows vineyards in the Deep End offered more delicate floral and mineral qualities.

Our 2009 Pinot Gris explodes out of the glass with aromas of lemongrass, orange blossom, honeysuckle, and white peach, while the flavors follow through with pear, melon, and cucumber. The texture is creamy, the finish long and spicy.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Apple blossom, white peach & lemongrass aromas show pear, melon and honeyed apple flavors on the palate.
Editors' Choice
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Handley

Handley Cellars

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Handley Cellars, North Coast, California
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.

North Coast

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Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.

Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.

Pinot Gris/Grigio

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Showing a unique rosy, purplish hue upon full ripeness, this “white” variety is actually born out of a mutation of Pinot noir. The grape boasts two versions of its name, as well as two generally distinct styles. In Italy, Pinot grigio achieves most success in the mountainous regions of Trentino and Alto Adige as well as in the neighboring Friuli—all in Italy’s northeast. France's Alsace and Oregon's Willamette Valley produce some of the world's most well-regarded Pinot gris wine. California produces both styles with success.

In the Glass

Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity but full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are aromatic (think rose and honey), richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to its Italian counterparts. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often much lighter, charming and fruit driven.

Perfect Pairings

The viscosity of a typical Alsatian Pinot Gris allows it to fit in harmoniously with the region's rich foods like pork, charcuterie and foie gras. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Given the color of its berries and aromatic and characterful potential if cared for as it is allowed to fully ripen, the Pinot grigio variety is actually one that is commonly used to make "orange wines." An orange wine is a white wine made in the red wine method, i.e. with fermentation on its skins. This process leads to a wine with more ephemeral aromas, complexity on the palate and a pleasant, light orange hue.

MSW18404091_2009 Item# 110626