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."
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."
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. Stock up while available.
92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Hansel's 2017 Pinot Noir The South Slope Vineyard is a very pretty and expressive wine. Spice, game, earthy notes, licorice and dried cherry give the South Slope its distinctly savory personality. Pliant and juicy, the 2017 is a terrific choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Today, the fruit is a bit in the background, while earthier qualities are more present than they were last year."
92 Points Robert Parker: Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir South Slope (all Dijon clone 777) has a savory nose of toast, dried leaves, pipe tobacco, dried rose petals, amaro and tangerine peel with a core of blackberries and cranberries. The palate is medium-bodied and silky with fine, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long...
...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"
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 Robert Parker: "Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane has a broody nose of sliced blueberry, black cherry and warm blackberries with cinnamon, nutmeg, tree bark and amaro accents plus crushed red cherries, raspberry jam, warm strawberries and dried flowers. Medium-bodied and silky, it fans out in the mouth with lush, concentrated fruits and tons and tons of spicy and earthy accents, with a firm frame of grainy tannins and very juicy acidity, finishing very long and layered. 750 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!"