Heart & Hands Wine Company
Situated on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes wine region of New York, this small winery
(under 2,000 cases) offers a different and quite successful look at Pinot Noir from a region that historically has
found Pinot Noir to be a challenging grape to master. I first met owner and winemaker Tom Higgins several
years ago at Thirsty Owl Wine Company while traveling through the Finger Lakes and we have stayed in touch,
often meeting at the World of Pinot Noir each year. He has trained in France as well as Calera and is a
proponent of whole cluster vinification of Pinot Noir. I have been fortunate to sample multiple vintages of Heart
& Hands wines and have always found them to be well-crafted and highly reflective of the region. If you are
looking for a different Pinot Noir drinking experience, visit the website at www.heartandhandswine.com for
more background and to purchase the wines.
All the wines reviewed here are closed with the Vinolok glass closure, that I happen to really like.
2012 Heart & Hands Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
12.4% alc., 714 cases, $23. 46% Paul’s Legacy at Hobbit
Hollow Farm, 29% Elaine’s Vineyard and 25% Patrician Verona Vineyard. 50% whole cluster.
red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, cranberry, brioche and spice with some stem surfacing over time.
Elegant in a light to mid weight style with flavors of cherry, raspberry and cinnamon spice accented with a touch
of oak and underbrush. The acid spine is vibrant. This is the lightest of the wines in the 2012 lineup and
shows the most oak overlay.
2012 Heart & Hands Patrician Verona Vineyard Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
11.8% alc., 98 cases,
pH 3.62, TA 0.66, $32. Vineyard is located on the western side of Cayuga Lake. Yield 3.8 tons per
acre. 100% whole cluster. Unfined and unfiltered.
Light burnished red color in the glass. The nose
is very appealing with scents of darker cherries, sous-bois and raw beef. A step up in concentration
with generous flavors of dark cherry, blueberry and Marionberry accented by brown spices. Elegant
and soft in the mouth with polished tannins and complimentary oak. When tasted the following day
from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still aromatically pleasing and showed a slight
savory herb streak on the palate.
2012 Heart & Hands Elaine’s Vineyard Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.64, 96
cases, $32. Vineyard is located on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. Yield 3.4 tons per acre. 100%
whole cluster. Aged in 24% new Francois Frères French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered.
burnished red color in the glass. Vibrant aromas of fresh cherries, cola and rose petal. Very tasty
mid weight flavors of cherry reduction sauce and red berry jam with a complimentary hint of spice.
The tannins are well proportioned and the finish is joyous. Tasted the following day from a
previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still pumping out the lovely aromas and flavors indicating
2012 Heart & Hands Estate Clone 777 Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
12.3% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.61, 23 cases, $44. Sustainably farmed estate
vineyard planted in Onondaga limestone. Yield 1.4 tons per acre. 100%
whole cluster. Aged 18 months in twice-filled French oak barrels.
Light garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of red
cherry, rose petal, spice and sous-bois. Delicious light to mid weight
cherry core. Very charming and soft in the mouth, with balanced tannins
and a generous, lengthy finish. Tasted the following day from a
previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was a whole cluster
celebration with uplifting aromas of spice, floral bouquet and tobacco
2012 Heart & Hands Estate Clone 828 Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
12.1% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.59, 23 cases,
$44. Yield 2.39 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in twice-filled French oak barrels.
Light garnet color in the glass. The scents of dark cherry, raspberry, blueberry, purple rose petal,
forest floor and oak are repeated on the palate with some added spice. The wine is a little rugged at this point
with a tug of muscular tannins that showing up on the finish. The following day when tasted from a previously
opened and re-corked bottle, the aromatics were seductive with plenty of cherry and floral appeal, but the fruit
was hidden by the overcoat of tannin. This wine should mellow with more time in bottle.
2012 Heart & Hands Estate Clone 667 Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
12.3% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.62, 23 cases,
$44. Yield 1.77 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in twice-filled French oak barrels.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is both good and bad with fresh fruit aromas
of black cherry and raspberry complimented by dark red rose petal and seasoned oak, but there is a whole
cluster driven note of stem and green bean that detracts. The fruit is highly concentrated and supported by
well proportioned tannins, and the mouthfeel is very polished. Should be interesting to see how this wine
2012 Heart & Hands Mo Chuisle Finger Lakes Pinot Noir
pH 3.49, TA 0.62, 147 cases, $56. Inaugural vintage from the estate
vineyard. Name is Gaelic for “My Pulse” or colloquially “My Darling.”
Clones are 4 (39%), 90 (22%), 115 (16%), 97 (16%) and small amounts
of 667, “828” and 777. Yield 1.61 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster.
Aged in 17% new French oak barrels. Unfiltered.
reddish purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of cherry, sous-bois and
raspberry. Delicious core of cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruit flavors
with an undertone of earthy flora. The tannins are well balanced and the
wine is quite welcoming now. The fruit is intense and tenacious on attack
and finishes with aplomb and length. Impressive debut wine.
2013 Heart & Hands Polarity Finger Lakes White Wine
13.9% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.57, 201 cases, $29. Pinot Noir
grapes whole cluster pressed with minimal skin contact and
fermented in French oak. Lees stirring every few days after
fermentation is complete. Aged 9 months in French oak
barrels. Unfined and unfiltered.
Light pinkish orange color in
the glass. Lovely aromas of blood orange, peach, tropical
fruits and the slightest toasty oak. The flavors follow in step
with the aromas adding a touch of apricot. Bright, crisp and refreshing,
with a tangy orange zest finish. This wine is a welcome change of pace
from the usual white varietal suspects.