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 2018 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 2018 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!"
95 points - new release
Walter Hansel's Cahill Lane (uses the same the Old Wente clone as Cuvee Alyce Chardonnay) is a beautiful, hand-crafted 100% Chardonnay from one of our favorite boutique producers down the road from Kistler. Limited.
94 Points Robert Parker: "The Walter Hansel 2018 Chardonnay Cahill Lane has very pretty scents of quince and baked apples with notes of crushed hazelnuts, beeswax and white blossoms. The medium-bodied palate is satiny and packed to the gills with concentrated, layered flavors, and it finishes long with bright freshness calling you in for another sip. 907 cases produced."
93 points Antonio Galloni: "The Walter Hansel 2018 Chardonnay Cahill Lane Vineyard offers a compelling interplay of richness and energy. Lemon confit, almond, dried flowers, sage and chamomile are all laced together in this very pretty, understated Chardonnay from Hansel. The natural richness and texture of Wente Clone Chardonnay emerges nicely over time."
...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."
The 2018 North Slope Chardonnay is another great chardonnay release from Walter Hansel. Limited.
94 Points Robert Parker: "The Walter Hansel 2018 Chardonnay North Slope Vineyard is scented of toast, flit and roasted almonds with a core of baked apples and touches of honey. The medium-bodied palate is fresh and satiny, slowly unfolding its savory flavors and finishing very long. 910 cases produced."
92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The Walter Hansel 2018 Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard is one of the more overt, textured wines in this lineup. Apricot, orange peel, spice and butter infuse the 2018 with attractive layers of nuance. Silky, open-knit and super expressive, the 2018 will drink well right out of the gate. Readers should expect a generous, unctuous style....
...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."
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.
94 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 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.92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Pinot Noir The Estate Vineyard bright, floral and super-expressive. Rose petal, lavender, red/purplish berry fruit and spice open up in a mid-weight, nuanced Pinot loaded with personality. The Estate has so much character. Readers will find an understated, beautifully restrained Russian River Pinot. Floral notes reaper on the finish, adding lift. This is such a pretty wine."