2017 Anderson Valley Pinot Gris - Handley Cellars

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Fresh honeydew, coriander seed, peeled tangerine. Candied lime, baby's-breath, crunchy Asian pear. Honeysuckle and lily pad, ginger root and earthy spice. White peach and ripe grapefruit jump with vigor as they traverse wet moss, white mushroom, and delicate flowers. Sliced almonds add complementary phenols behind the bright and bouncy bouquet, which walks the line between crisp and aromatic. Clean minerality sets in like a babbling brook as a hint of fine powdery tannin contributes some very slight and thoroughly enjoyable texture. Balanced, clean, and quite complex. This 2017 Anderson Valley Pinot Gris by Handley Cellars is an interesting Alsatian-style white from Mendocino County.

Located in Northern California between Sonoma and Humboldt Counties, the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County is a unique cool-climate region that is putting out some absolutely fantastic wine. It is notably one of the few areas in the United States largely devoted to the production of Alsatian-style wines, which succeed thanks to the area's temperate climate and ultra-slow ripening cycle. This bottling, crafted by Handley Cellars from 100% Pinot Gris sourced from the Anderson Valley, is a great example of how successful Alsatian varieties can be here. While light in body this wine is quite expansive on both the nose and palate, showing off not only high-toned and complex fruit but also notes of alluvial soils and fine mineral intricacies. A slight kiss of botrytis adds a hint of beautifully honeyed earthy tones despite this drinking completely dry into its long and agreeable finish. Far from simple yet unquestionably delicious, this is one of the more compelling examples of this varietal you will find in the states.