2010 Walter Hansel "Cuvée Alyce" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce is wonderfully alive. Passion fruit, butter, pastry, smoke and almonds burst from the glass in this voluptuous, beautifully layered Chardonnay. All the elements are in perfect balance. This is a great example of luscious Russian River Chardonnay at its best. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright yellow-gold. Aromas of fresh pineapple, nectarine and honey, with a subtle mineral overtone. Juicy and palate-coating, offering subtly sweet pit and orchard fruit flavors that show good depth and distinct ripeness. Closes with very good breadth and cling, leaving a pit fruit nectar note behind.
According to Robert Parker's 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. According to Hansel, in 2010 the Pinots were less affected by the heat spikes that year than the Chardonnays, echoing a common refrain among growers. As was the case throughout California, 2011 was an exceptionally long and cold growing season. Hansel lost the fruit for the Meadows bottling, a casualty of the October rains. 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." (04/2013, AG)