Our Selection for Wine of the Week December 10, 2012
Handley Cellars 2003 Brut Anderson Valley, CA
Milla Handley is an Anderson Valley pioneer. A 1975 graduate of U.C. Davis' Fermentation program, Handley moved to the region in 1978 as assistant winemaker for Edmeades Winery. In 1982, she struck out on her own, making Handley Cellars' first wine, a Chardonnay. Today, Handley is a highly regarded estate, producing wines ranging from Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and late harvest Riesling as well as a sparkling Brut and Brut Rosé. The 2003 Brut is made from 65 per cent Pinot Noir and 35 per cent Chardonnay. Its attractive aromas include peach, roasted cashew and a faint petrol. Flavors include peach, lemon and an undefined tropical note with a touch of honey on the mid palate. Although it lacks some of the refinement of high-end bubbly, we enjoy its lively, almost fluffy texture. Its pretty, golden hue would make it a festive choice for any celebration; serve it on its own for a holiday toast. Its hint of sweetness will also make it a nice match for Chinese and other lightly spiced foods. Or try it as a refreshing counterpoint to desserts like buttery Christmas cookies or a citrus cheesecake.