2007 Walter Hansel "Cuvee Alyce" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1054199

94+ points Robert Parker: "The 2007 Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce is sensational. Named after Stephen Hansel’s recently deceased 90-year-old mother, the wine has admirable minerality, plenty of honeysuckle, hints of pear, white peach, and pineapple, a deep, full-bodied mouthfeel with subtle smokiness from oak, very good acidity, and a long, concentrated finish. This is likely to be the longest-lived of the Chardonnays and capable of lasting for up to 7-10 years." (12/08) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright gold. Exotically perfumed aromas of tangerine, peach, anise, iodine and smoky lees. Tangy, refreshingly bitter fruit skin flavors are underscored by smoke and herbal qualities. This impressively deep chardonnay finishes with excellent clarity and outstanding chewy persistence." (May/Jun '09) Big, boisterous flavors and aromas of brioche, crème brulee, vanilla bean, custard and milled corn are ever apparent and for most they would be enough. The bonus is that you'll also pick up the things that really make this wine special, like purity of fruit. The passion fruit, peach and guava flavors are really something special. Also the way that the oak is integrated into the wine here is wonderful; it is always completely apparent but it also never really gets in the way of the intensity of the raw materials. Add the long dry finish packed with lychee, dried apple rings and pastry dough and you have one of the best Chards I've tasted in 2010. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Price: $34.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.