November 2015 Wine of the Month Club Newsletter - page 11

The Winery:
Dick Handal and Alyce Denier shared similar dreams
and passions when they purchased the old Hulen Vineyard in Sonoma in the
winter of 2003. Their dreams became a reality with their first vintage just a
few years later. Dick graduated with honors from Columbia University in New
York so he had the right head on his shoulders.
Alyce is a Northern California girl from Galt with a background in agriculture.
It all came together when they were living in Ecuador and formed a
partnership with Don Angel Duran to find suitable properties to grow
grapes. This partnership lead them to establish the Chaupi Estate which,
though very near the Equator, is 8,200 feet in altitude. Tending vines
here is not that easy because the altitude makes life much slower than
other places like Sonoma.
The Region:
Sonoma is not
only twice the size of Napa, but offers
way more microclimates and cubby
holes to grow many different types of
grapes. From the cool Russian River and
Sonoma Mountain where Pinot Noir
and Chardonnay shine to Alexander
Valley and Dry Creek are home to
Cabernet, Zinfandel and our Petite Sirah, Sonoma has it all.
Around the 1860s, Russian River agriculture centered around wheat, hops and livestock,
but by 1870 French immigrants had established the first winery in the valley. And the rest,
as they say is history.
The Wine:
Denier-Handal produces boutique lots of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and
Cabernet Sauvignon which are made and bottled at the Wellington winery facility in Glen
Ellen. Since the very first lots, their wines have won Gold and Silver medals at the Sonoma
County Harvest Fair and the Riverside International Wine Competitions.
Petite Sirah is a bit of an orphan. It was so named because it has characteristics of Syrah,
the great red of the Northern Rhone. Through mapping and
study, it was determined that it is the same as the Duriff
grape of the Provence. The grape seems to love it here
as it produces profound wine with lots of flavor and
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WOMC Rating
Serve with red meats, lamb,
and tomato sauce dishes.
Dark purple
Earth, blackberry and spice
Full, extracted plum
flavors and tar
Very long, with a
a bit of cherry
Cellaring Suggestions:
5-8 years
ITEM #: L1115R1DC
Retail Price:
Member Price $20.98/each
Reorder Price $16.99/each
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