2010 Walter Hansel "North Slope" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chardonnay North Slope is all about density and material. An imposing, powerful Chardonnay, the North Slope will appeal most to readers who like intense, buttery wines. Here too, I am amazed by the positive development the wine has had over the last year. Butterscotch, hazelnuts and spices are layered into the generous, inviting finish. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid yellow. Lively, spice-accented aromas of tangerine, melon and white flowers, with toasty lees and sweet butter accents adding depth. Offers an array of citrus fruit and spice flavors, with suave honeysuckle and brioche nuances emerging with air. Lingers impressively on the finish, which shows nervy orange pith and ginger character.
Additional vintage note from Wine Advocate: "I was quite taken with the wines I tasted with proprietor Stephen Hansel earlier this year. In particular, the 2010 Chardonnays have turned out far better than I had expected. A year prior, the wines were heavy and clunky. Today, they are complete and beautifully balanced to a degree that is surprising....At the risk of sounding repetitive, it is impossible not to realize how exceedingly fairly priced these wines are in today's market. Stylistically, the Hansel Chardonnays show the richness from stirring of the lees and the use of 40-60% new oak."