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.
95 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Pinot Noir The North Slope has a medium ruby-purple color with deep aromas of cranberries, blackberries and rhubarb accented by blood orange, pipe tobacco and forest floor. The palate is medium-bodied, both powerful and elegant, with concentrated, detailed flavors, a silky, fresh frame and long, lifted finish. 1,087 cases produced...
...Some of the best values in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir emerge from Stephen Hansel’s winery in the Russian River Valley. All of the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are bottled unfiltered. This is a source for very fine Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs at some of the most realistic prices to be found in Northern California."
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Pinot Noir The North Slope Vineyard ample and creamy, with terrific depth and tons of Russian River generosity. Black cherry, plum, mocha, spice and licorice all open up in this beautifully resonant, expansive Pinot. Floral overtones and bright acids add vibrancy to play off the racy, soft Russian River curves. Best of all, the 2018 will drink well with minimal cellaring."
92 Points - New Release
Another great chardonnay release from Walter Hansel. Limited.
92 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Hansel's 2018 Chardonnay The Estate Vineyard is absolutely gorgeous. In 2018, The Estate has an extra kick of freshness and energy that marries well with the Russian River exuberance that is so typical of these wines. The Estate is the most vibrant and floral of these Chardonnays. It is also a fabulous value in today's world."
Robert Parker: "...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 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."