Another beautiful small-production Pinot Noir from Walter Hansel who continues to make a small amount of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay down the road from Kistler, at unbelievably sane prices. Limited.
96 Points Robert Parker: "Medium ruby-purple in color, the Walter Hansel Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce opens slowly to alluring aromas of smoked cranberries, red cherries and black raspberries laced with licorice, bergamot and dried lavender. The palate is medium-bodied and super silky with addicting freshness, absolutely packed with layered, detailed flavors, and it finishes very long and elegant. Wow! 1,012 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. Hansel reduced the crop size by 20%-30% through crop thinning in 2014 because of irregular berry size and improved the level of concentration. All of the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are bottled unfiltered."
Alyce was Stephen Hansel's Mom and she was the life of the party. There is a section of vineyard right in the middle of the North slope where the soils are very heavy adobe clay resulting in the vines struggling to produce a crop more than 1 ton to the acre. It is a field blend of clone 777 and 115. This minimal crop yield tends to produce wines that are big, rich, "over the top" flavors; perfect for "Alyce."
The Walter Hansel North Slope Chardonnay is another great chardonnay release from Walter Hansel. Limited.
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2019 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."