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Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Owner(s) Craig Handley, Kathy Handley
Web site www.pvvines.com
 
Link to this site

Pleasant Valley Vineyards was established by Craig and Cathy Handley in 2004 with the first commercial release in 2006. Craig had a career in the mushroom industry. Jack Czarnecki, chef of the famous Joe's Restaurant in Redding, PA, introduced him to Calera Pinot Noir and he was hooked. Initially Craig made wine for himself, his family and friends. His success combined with extensive research and study led him to begin making wines under his own label.

Nestled in its own private enclave, the Pleasant Valley family estate vines surround a cathedral grove of coastal redwoods. There are two petite vineyards of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted by the Handleys in 1995 with select Dijon clones from France. The property encompasses a five-acre bowl on the western ridge within Pleasant Valley in Aptos, California, a part of the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation. Craig and Cathy Handley a like to say that “the Pinot Noir has passed through their hands at several stages in the process from soil to glass.” Their wines have been chosen to be poured at the the World of Pinot Noir. There are a number of musicians in the family, reflected in the unique label.

The Handleys have gradually widened their fruit sources, including several bottlings from the Lester Vineyard. The wines are sold primarily through a mailing list and are also available on the website.

The wines are sold primarily through a mailing list and are available on the website.

Reviewed Wines

2010 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Thelma-Henrietta Block Lester Family Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.70, $48. Clone 115. Harvested at 24.5º Brix. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. · A nicely crafted wine displaying delicious dark red stone fruits and spice. Very forward with supple tannins. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Willa-Louise Block Lester Family Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.75, $48. Clone 667. Harvested at 24º Brix. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. · This wine features nicely ripened purple fruits. Soft and smooth on the palate with a noticeable oak imprint that will integrate over time. Good (+). Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Cuvée Lester Family Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.64, $54. Clones 667 and 115. Harvested at 24.2º Brix. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. · Middleweight purple berry and plum fruit core wrapped in soft tannins. Soft, velvety mouth feel. A charming wine with appealing finesse and balance. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Reserve Lester Family Vineyards Thelma Henrietta Block Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

15.5% alc., pH 3.59, $48. Aged 12 months in 50% new and 50% 1-year old Sequin Moreau French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Ripe, raisiny, old oak cask aromas. Very ripe fruited flavors with a raisin note and plenty of root beer, dark caramel and mocha flavors from oak. Well-crafted, but the slightly cooked fruit and prominent oak disappoint. Decent. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Reserve Lester Family Vineyards Willa Louise’s Block Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., pH 3.50, $60. Aged 15 months in 50% new and 50% 1-year old Sequin Moreau French oak barrels. Dijon 667 clone. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddishpurple color in the glass. An expressive nose offering scents of very ripe fruit, spice, root beer and old oak. The black cherry and berry fruit is over ripe with a roasted quality. Rich layers of fruit linger on the finish which is slightly hot. The flavors and aromas dissipate with time in the glass, leaving plenty of fruit but no refinement. Decent. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Family Estate Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.41, TA .586, $95. From an estate vineyard planted in 1996 to Dijon clones 113, 114 and 115. Fermented whole berry after de-stemming. Aged 19 months in 100% new Sequin Moreau Grand Cru French oak barrels (medium toast and toasted heads). Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of crushed berries, rose petals and white pepper. Well-endowed with blackberry and plum flavors, restrained tannins, and leaving an impression on the generously fruited finish. The oak never intrudes. Nicely crafted, but lacks nuance which may come with more time in the bottle. Good (+). Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Lester Family Vineyard (Deer Park) Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Barrel sample. Clone 667. · Rich aromas of fresh berry jam and confected cherries draw you in. Delicious melange of red berries with a touch of citrus on the palate. Perfectly harmonious with no tannin to speak of and refreshing acidity to keep you reaching for another sip. A very seductive wine with tremendous upside potential. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Reserve Lester Family Vineyards Thelma Henrietta’s Block Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

15.3% alc., $48. Clone 115, whole berry and whole cluster fermentation. Unfined and unfiltered. · Slightly confected dark red cherry and berry fruit aromas with a pleasing hint of oak and a touch of heat. Luscious in the mouth, finding every nook and cranny, and plush and softly textured. The tannins are reigned in and the oak nicely integrated letting the prodigious cherry and berry fruit shine. Very good, especially if you are a fan of this Caliesque style of Pinot Noir. Reviewed November 13, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Family Estate Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.65% alc., pH 3.50, TA .542, $120 (library wine). Dijon clones 113, 114, 115. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 19 months in 100% Sequin Moreau Grand Cru French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark berries, black plums, old book, root beer and oak vanillin and spice. Very ripe plum and black cherry flavors with cola and oak as contributors. Juicy and silky, this wine has a copious charge of alcohol-driven sweet fruit and some finishing heat showing up on the finish as the wine warms in the glass. Decent. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

This wine was spectacular even at this early stage. Terrific smoky fruit core with a great peacock tail finish. The 2005 vintage of this wine is continuing to improve in the bottle and currently showing very nicely also. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.65, 75 cases, $85, released February 2009. From a small estate vineyard planted to Dijon clones in the Corralitos region of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. Dijon clones 113, 114, 115. Whole berry and whole cluster fruit. Aged 19 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · This is an outstanding example of the tremendous potential for Pinot Noir from this small growing region at the southern tip of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Rich, sumptuous crushed wild berries in the nose. Bursting with fresh raspberry flavor enhanced by subtle oak overtones. Endless echo of aromas and fruit on the finish. The alcohol is well-integrated from start to finish. Reviewed July 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Family Estate Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., $85. · Dreamy aromas of cherries, clove and cardamon spices, cola and red hard candy. The palate sings the same tune with raspberry flavors added in. The fruit is like bombs bursting in the air, coming in waves. Fresh, clean and impeccably balanced with complete integration of the alcohol. If you like clove, you will go ga-ga over this one. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

(barrel sample). The Dijon clones seem to thrive in the Corralitos area and this wine shows off the bright fruits that result. · There is a lot going on in this wine including smoke, spice, white pepper, and the whole spectrum of Pinot fruits. Reviewed April 1, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Pleasant Valley Vineyards Dylan David Family Estate Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., $85. Unfined and unfiltered. · On the nose there are aromas of ripe black cherry fruit, stem and anise. The ripe fruit theme carries through on the palate with a vein of stemminess in the background. Soft tannins, lively acidity and refreshing citric tang on the finish. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »