The Walter Hansel North Slope Chardonnay is another great chardonnay release from Walter Hansel. Limited.
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The Walter Hansel Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard is one of the most overtly, powerful wines in this range. A wine of real phenolic intensity, the North Slope is a structured, savory Chardonnay that is going to need a few years to come around. It is incredibly distinctive. Crushed rocks, tangy herbs and lemon confit all grace a Chardonnay that balances power with transparency."
...The Hansel wines capture the essence of the Russian River in their exuberant, forward personalities. In my view, the Chardonnays are reference points for what Wente clone Chardonnay is all about. Quality is high across the board and pricing remains incredibly consumer friendly throughout the range, making these some of the most delicious and compelling Sonoma wines readers will come across."
95 points - new release
Walter Hansel's Cuvee Alyce Chardonnay is a beautiful, hand-crafted 100% Chardonnay from one of our favorite boutique producers down the road from Kistler. Limited.
previous vintage 95 points Antonio Galloni: "The Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is a total knock-out. Rich, ample and explosive, it possesses tremendous depth and textural elegance to burn. Citrus confit, white flowers, chamomile and light tropical notes lend an exotic flair to this striking, beautifully delineated Chardonnay from Hansel."
previous vintage 95 Points Robert Parker: "The Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce opens slowly to lovely aromas of warm peaches and apricots with accents of toast, roasted almonds and honey. The medium-bodied palate is silky, super concentrated, layered and fresh, cut through with uplifting mineral character and finishing very, very long. Gorgeous!"
Robert Parker: "...This is an enviable winery run by Stephen Hansel with exceptionally high-quality Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that he sells at modest prices, which speaks to his humility and commitment to serious wine consumers. There are more than 80 acres of estate, so it is not small, split evenly between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He breaks the cuvées down by their vineyard terroir/site."
Walter Hansel's Estate Pinot Noir is a beautiful, hand-crafted wine from one of our favorite boutique producers down the road from Kistler. Only made 300 cases produced. Limited.
previous vintage 94 Points Robert Parker: "The Waltre Hansel Pinot Noir Estate, aged in 60% new François Frères barrels, has a medium ruby color and aromas of cured meats, red and black cherries, graphite, dried earth and tobacco leaves. The medium-bodied, satiny palate explodes with concentrated earth- and spice-laced fruits, gently grainy, super fresh and finishing very long and uplifted. 861 cases produced...
...Some of the best values in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir emerge from Stephen Hansel’s winery in the Russian River Valley. He also has the wonderful Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa.91 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The Walter Hansel Pinot Noir The Estate Vineyards is bright, aromatic and wonderfully translucent. Always a great introduction to these wines, the Estate in 2019 is especially perfumed and nuanced. Crushed rose petal, mint and sweet red berry fruit are all finely cut. The 2019 is a bit more restrained than in most vintages, but the Russian River has also so much natural exuberance, so that contrast works so well here."
Another beautiful small-production Pinot Noir from Walter Hansel who continues to make a small amount of Pinot Noir down the road from Kistler, at unbelievably sane prices. As a result they always sell out quickly. Stock up while it's available.
93+ Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The Walter Hansel Pinot Noir Cahill Lane Vineyard is another stellar wine in this lineup. Here, too, I very much like the wine's energy and nuance. Ripe red/purplish fruit, blood orange and floral notes are wonderfully vivid. Medium in body and finely cut, the Cahill Lane is so enticing. In 2018, the Cahill Lane has an extra kick of citrus-infused acidity that gives cut and a closing burst of energy that is impossible to miss."
93 Points Robert Parker: "Medium ruby-purple, the Walter Hansel Pinot Noir Cahill Lane is scented of smoked cranberries, tar and tobacco with nuances of citrus peel and potpourri. The light-bodied palate is silky, layered and seriously styled with a gentle grip, great freshness and long finish. 801 cases produced.
...“Pricing is important to me,” says Steven Hansel. “In the marketplace, most people treat wine like a commodity—if people are willing to pay $100, that’s what it’s sold for—without any relation to what it actually costs to make. If we’re going to get young people to drink wine, they can’t pay those prices. I believe young people would like to enjoy wine, but they don’t have the resources. So, why are we raising prices? If we charge too much, they’ll buy tequila or something else—and then we’re all out of a job.” An astute observation. The Hansel wines, besides being delicious, provide excellent value. Bravo!"