Every so often the BeerBoor indulges his enjoyment of good, affordable wine, sometimes with a fine home-cooked meal, other times with nothing but good company (and in the third person).
What? Much of what I’ve learned from beer applies to wine. This particular day, I pulled my penultimate Handley Cellars wine from the refrigerator, from a fairly recent Wine.woot offer too good to pass up. I’ve had good luck with Dry Creek Valley white wines, from the Anderson Valley region of northern California, and Handley Cellars was one of my favorite wine finds last year. I could babble on and on about the winery, but suffice to say they’re good people, happy to answer questions, have a website, and will ship wine to New York state. What more could I ask for?
I pulled the (real) cork and poured a couple of glasses of the pale, pale gold Gewürztraminer, which retains its color all the way to the edge of the glass. Good legs on the swirl, indicating a bit of residual sugar — this isn’t exactly a dry Gewürz. I pick up a massive blast of green apple in the nose, along with pear and honeydew. It’s a wonderfully clean, fruity aroma, dry but not woody, and I tend to gravitate toward white wines like this.
Handley’s Gewürtztraminer fails to disappoint me in my mouth as well. The aforementioned apple and pear, tropical fruits galore, come to mind initially when I sip this. There’s a little undercurrent of minerally flavors contributing to a drying sensation as well. The alcohol, at 14.2%, does not escape notice, bringing in the natural spiciness of the grape and a bit of pepper, though my friend commented that the wine seemed on the bitter side because of the high alcohol content. The residual sugar makes the wine feel full-bodied on my palate, in addition to being very juicy, just bursting with fruity flavors with a touch of sweetness that partially offsets that minerally dryness.
In all, yes, I quite enjoyed this bottle (though my friend, less so). I know that Handley’s 2008 vintage is now out, and I’d love to get my hands on some, but the 2007 is still available on some sites for around $16. That’s a fair price for their well-crafted, tasty Gewürtzraminer. If nothing else, I recommend keeping an eye out for Dry Creek Valley whites the next time you’re looking for an inexpensive yet tasty wine.