I recently had an opportunity to participate in HandCraft Artisan Collection’s first ever Twitter-Tasting with Thirsty-Girl and Handcraft Wine’s founder Cheryl Idelicato and winemaker Alicia Ysais. HandCraft is a new California-based wine brand producing wines that I would characterize as approachable and affordable everyday wines. The brand is a dream turned reality by two hard working moms and Cheryl says their mission is to “Develop wines that are meant to be enjoyed and not fussed over – leaving more time for living.”
HandCraft 2010 Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah
For the virtual tasting, we had an opportunity to sample the HandCraft 2010 Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah. Before the tasting started I had questions about the Pinot Noir since it was blended. Pinot Noir is fully capable of producing a delicious and complex wine on its own without the help of other grape varieties. Furthermore, it’s rare [for me] to see Pinot Noir blended with other grapes. Though, for some odd-ball reason, there are producers who add Syrah for color – even tannin. After learning more about the brand, I found that Cheryl pays homage to her Italian heritage by blending Italian varieties into her wines (though all the grapes blended aren’t Italian). Both Cheryl and Alicia feel that the addition lifts the aromatics and brightens the fruit profile in the finished wines. The 2010 Pinot Noir is composed of 76% Pinot Noir, 9% Tempranillo, 6% Petite Verdot, 6% Sangiovese, and 3% Petite Sirah. For me, the HandCraft 2010 California Pinot Noir offers a sweet-like nose of ripe dark cherries, grenadine, baking spice, and subtle cola notes that extend to the [fruit-driven] palate with soft acidity and a medium-length fruity finish. Cheryl’s pairing suggestion of pork chops, bacon, and creamy potatoes seemed spot on. For under $15, it’s a fairly rich, ripe, fruit-forward style of Pinot with a round/smooth texture and a hint of sweetness that I consider a real crowd-pleaser. Other tasters mentioned paring it with everything from cookies and brownies, to a blanket, fireplace, and a good book. All of which are pretty doable with this wine, in my opinion.
HandCraft Artisan Collection
Petite Sirah is possibly one of the most under-appreciated varietals out there and its name is quite misleading – as it’s typically not petite. The HandCraft California 2010 Petite Sirah is 82% Petite Sirah, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Sangiovese, 3% Syrah, and 3% Zinfandel. It’s a deeply colored, fruit-forward wine that exudes a brambly nose leading to blue/black fruit and baking spice with ripe flavors, a rounded texture, middling acidity and dusty [medium] tannins. Again, Cheryl’s food pairing of slow roasted short ribs would work well, as would some of the richer foods and even some chocolate-based desserts tasters recommended. The 2010 vintage marked the first release from Cheryl and Alicia and their Twitter Tasting kick-off was a fun event to be a part of. Overall, I found the two wines sampled to be well-made, [very much] fruit- driven, and both pocket and palate friendly. The wines, as you can see, are packaged nicely [eye-catching] and attractively priced at $12.99. Additionally, proceeds from the sales of HandCraft wines support breast cancer awareness. I wish the two working moms, Cheryl and Alicia, continued success with their new brand. Click on the link below to find their wines and learn more about HandCraft Artisan Collection. Cheers!
Click here to visit HandCraft Artisan Collection's website.
Click here to visit Thirty Girl's website.
Fall Splendor in Virginia
Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come. Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample. Thoughts are my own.
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