An unexpected double whammy of American imports hitting the shelves is always cause for (at least mild) celebration – Hoopes and Handley need little introduction, having graced the shops for years. Big, classic Napa Cabernet and Pinot from the Anderson Valley – cool, delicate, a little more precise than the other Pinot’s on tasting. Don’t believe us? Well, just in case thirsty folk of Weybridge and Reigate fail to leave anything in the bottle from their tastings – think I’ll crack open a couple.
2014 Handley Estate Chardonnay, Anderson Valley, California £29.99 or £7.50/glass
Organic Estate Fruit. A blend of three clones, softer and riper than many previous vintages, but still the lower alcohol style so favoured by them. Granny Smith apple, guava, lime and pineapple finishing with coconut and spice imparted from the barrels. Gloriously crispy, with a stunning body – perfect for wet days…
2014 The Mutt Red Blend, Hoopla, Napa Valley, California £27.99 or £7.00/glass
87% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 4% Petite Verdot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, this big soft number doesn’t have the steely strength I was expecting – instead, a rich, bouncy style - ripe cherry, plum and sandalwood, finished with dry tannins. Very, very highly recommended – enjoy!