Heart & Hands Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
Heart & Hands is owned and operated by husband and wife team Tom and Susan Higgins. The winery and
estate vineyard are located on the east side of Cayuga Lake, directly on the Onondaga limestone escarpment.
The proximity to the lake and the gently sloping site offer the vineyard protection from harsh winter weather, the
biggest threat to winegrowing in this northerly region.
This boutique winery produces around 2,000 cases per year, which allows an intense focus on quality. When
tasting the Pinot Noirs from Heart & Hands, you must have different expectations than you would experience
tasting California Pinot Noirs. The wines must be taken in the context of their growing region. The wines are
more austere and less richly flavored, higher in acidity and lower in alcohol. Because of significant whole
cluster inclusion, the Pinot Noirs benefit from decanting.
Riesling is the prized varietal in the Finger Lakes of New York, but a small group of vintners, including Tom,
have made significant strides with Pinot Noir. Visit the Heart & Hands Wine Company website at
www.heartandhandswine.com. All the Heart & Hands Pinot Noirs are bottled under the Vino-Lok glass
I have been to the Finger Lakes and would highly recommend a visit for wine enthusiasts. This beautiful region
offers many wineries to visit set in an unhurried and sparsely populated area that becomes bucolic in the spring
and summer. The region can easily be accessed from either New York City or Buffalo, New York.
2015 Heart & Hands Mo Chuisle Estate Reserve Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
12.8% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.67, 126 cases. This wine is named after
the Gaelic phrase that translates as “My Pulse,” “My Heartbeat,” or
more colloquially as “My Darling.” Third release from the sustainably
farmed estate vineyard. Clones 4, 90, 777, 97, 115, 667 and “828.”
100% whole cluster. Aged 19 months in Francois Fréres French oak
barrels, 18% new.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Brooding
aromas of cherry and earthy flora. Inviting on the palate, with mid
weight flavors of dark cherry and berry and a subtle savory thread.
Nicely balanced, with reserved tannins and a juicy finish with some
2016 Heart & Hands Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.68, 478 cases. 55% Elaine’s
Vineyard Seneca Lake, 28% Patrician Verona Vineyard Cayuga Lake and 17% Nutt Road Vineyard Seneca
Lake. 50% whole cluster co-fermented with de-stemmed grapes in one-ton bins. Basket pressed, aged 12
months in Francois Fréres French oak barrels, 11% new.
Light ruby red color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with
aromas of cherry, spice and friendly oak. A charming wine with appealing elegance and a soothing texture,
featuring mid weight flavors of red cherry and strawberry backed by a bit of toasty oak. The finish is shallow
and somewhat astringent.
2016 Heart & Hands Elaine’s Vineyard Clone 115 Reserve Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
13.3% alc., pH 3.65,
TA 0.63, 48 cases. This vineyard overlooks the eastern shores of Seneca Lake and is located in an area known
as the “Banana Belt” in the Finger Lakes AVA. 100% clone 115, 3.6 tons per acre. 50% whole cluster. Aged 12
months in Francois Fréres French oak barrels. Unfiltered.
Light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry,
underbrush and wood. Firm tannins envelope the mid weight core of dark red cherry fruit and lead to some
astringency on the finish. The best feature of this wine is the juicy acidity, but the tannins are too imposing at
2016 Heart & Hands Elaine’s Vineyard Clone 667 Reserve Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., pH 3.61,
TA 0.63, 48 cases. 100% clone 667, 3.6 tons per acre. Aged 12 months in Francois Fréres French oak barrels.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Very appealing aromas of black cherry and spicy oak. A
middleweight styled wine with a core of fresh, dark red cherry fruit enlivened by a good grip of acidity. The
tannins are more reserved in this wine and oak is kept in the background.
2016 Heart & Hands Nutt Road Vineyard Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
12.9% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.58, 49 cases.
Clones 115, 667 and 777, yield 2.6 tons per acre. Each clone vinified separately. 50% whole cluster cofermented
with 50% de-stemmed grapes. Aged 12 months in Francois Fréres French oak barrels.
red color in the glass. The nose is oak inspired with aromas of dark roast, toast and chocolate with cherry in
the background. Light to mid weight in style, featuring flavors of cherry, strawberry and baking spices framed by
firm, but not imposing tannins. The finish is modest and there is a little too much oak at play for my taste.
2017 Heart & Hands Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.67, 466 cases, $25.99. Sourced
from Heart & Hands Estate Vineyard, Elaine’s Vineyard, Nutt Road Vineyard and Patrician Verona Vineyard.
Clones 4, 90, 97, 115, 667, 777 and “828”, yield 1.9 tons per acre. 40% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in
Francois Fréres French oak barrels, 11% new.
Light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of rhubarb with a little
volatile acidity. Light in weight, with flavors of red cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Elegant in style, with a hint
of blood orange and nutty oak. The gruff tannins emerge on the short finish.
2017 Heart & Hands Polarity Finger Lakes Pinot Noir Blanc
12.9% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.57, 104
cases, $29.99. Whole cluster basket pressed immediately following the hand sorting to minimize
skin contact, creating a pale-colored juice. The juice was barrel fermented and underwent a
secondary malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged on the lees for 10 months in Francois
Fréres French oak barrels with stirring about every 3 days to enhance the mouthfeel and add
Moderately light apricot color in the glass. Aromas of macerated peach, apricot, wheat
grain and a medicinal note. Mid weight flavors of yellow peach, butter cake, apricot, melon and
honey. Soft and slightly creamy in texture, with modest tannins and some finish. A curious wine that
doesn’t fit a slot.