2009 Walter Hansel "North Slope" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright gold. Pungent, high-pitched aromas of lemongrass, lime, smoky minerals and jasmine. Deep, pliant and suave, with terrific minerality giving lift to its citrus and floral flavors. Building spiciness adds complexity to the extremely long, sappy finish. I really like this wine's blend of vivacity and power.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Chardonnay North Slope is a bit more energetic and focused than Cahill Lane, even though the vineyards are just a few feet apart at the top of the hillside. Lemon, pastry, white flowers and subtle French oak come together nicely in this elegant Chardonnay. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017. This is an excellent set of wines from Steven Hansel. The Chardonnays are fermented and aged in barrels for a total of 10 months with lees stirring once a week for the first 8 weeks. Hansel favors Francois Freres and Seguin Moreau barrels, typically 50% new for the Chardonnays. (AG)
Robert Parker: "The sensational, flowery-styled 2009 Chardonnay The North Slope (made from Davis clones) comes from a cool parcel with a northerly exposition. This wine possesses zesty acidity as well as abundant peach, nectarine, orange and crushed rock-like characteristics. There is more minerality and density than the Cahill Lane and Estate cuvees." (2/2011)