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.
91 Points Robert Parker: "Pale ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir Estate has amazingly pure notions of crushed cranberries, Bing cherries and redcurrants with touches of garrigue, tilled soil and bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied, it delivers bags of crunchy red berry flavors and a lovely satiny texture with a very long, lively finish. 896 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.
A fantastic new Sauvignon Blanc and one of the best in California we've found this year!
Fresh pineapple, passion fruit, pink grapefruit, cream and liquid mineral are present and rich in the Walter Hansel 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. Excellent balalnce and acidity. Fans of Rochioli and Duckhorn will rejoice over the great quality and price of this wine. The fruit for this wine is grown on our Vineyard Manager's property in Lake County. We select the vineyard section and specific vines based on cluster size, weight and ripeness. Notes of melon, fig and pears create a creamy undercurrent; the vibrant acidity will make it food friendly with a variety of dishes.
Walter Hansel was a lifelong wine enthusiast who had the vision to plant his estate's original 250 vines in 1978. Today, Stephen, Walter's son, has taken up where his father left off, pursuing his vision of producing world-class Burgundian-styled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, all from the Russian River Valley. Steve Hansel's friend, famed winemaker Tom Rochioli, helped him in the early stages of his wine education by inviting him to work a couple of harvests at the Rochioli vineyards. Steve performed his first solo attempt in 1996 out of his garage.
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.
93+ points Antonio Galloni: "The 2017 Chardonnay Cahill Lane Vineyard brings together many of the qualities that make Stephen Hansel's wines so appealing. Vibrant and also vertical in its construction, the Cahill Lane is a rare 2017 that needs time to soften, as today it is quite dominated by structure."
91+ Points Robert Parker: "The 2017 Chardonnay Cahill Lane, from Wente clone vines, features white peach, Bosc pear, gun flint hints and rocky notes with toasty and citrus character. The palate is light to medium-bodied and lightly creamy in texture with concentrated citrus fruits, juicy freshness and a long, saline finish. This feels a bit closed down at the moment....
...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 2017 North Slope Chardonnay is another great chardonnay release from Walter Hansel. Limited.
92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2017 Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard is another super-expressive wine in the range. In this tasting, the North Slope is oily and beautifully textured, with striking resonance and exceptional balance. It is especially viscous in 2017, and it's a style that works beautifully. This silky, creamy Chardonnay should drink well with minimal cellaring."
...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."