2013 Walter Hansel "Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate, made mostly from Rochioli clonal material and a small portion of the so-called Swan clone, is a beautiful Pinot Noir, very Burgundian, with notes of forest floor, loamy soil undertones, sweet black cherries and Asian plum sauce. It is dark ruby, lush, medium to full-bodied and ideal for drinking over the next decade. Some of the best values in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir emerge from Stephen Hansel’s winery in the Russian River Valley. He also has the wonderful Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa... The 2013 Pinot Noirs, which Stephen Hansel described as more European and restrained than the 2012s, were all bottled unfined and unfiltered and are just now beginning to strut their stuff. All represent excellent value in Pinot Noir. (RP)
The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate impresses for its silky, layered personality. Crushed flowers, sweet red cherries, mint and spices all meld together in a Pinot Noir that is all about balance. Bright floral flavors abound in a silky, layered Pinot that shows the more refined side of the Russian River. Stephen Hansel is one of the most intelligent winery owners in Sonoma. More interested in getting people to drink his wines than in maximizing short-term profit, Hansel continues to offer some of the very best wines readers will find for the money...The Hansel wines capture the essence of the Russian River in their exuberant, forward personalities...After the large crop of 2012, Hansel dropped a significant amount of fruit in 2013, roughly 60% of the Pinot crop and 30% of the Chardonnay crop. 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.Stephen Hansel also runs a number of successful car franchises in the area and clearly has a knack for putting the consumer first. What's not to like? (AG)
Allen Meadows - Burghound
Very much of the same oaky, toasty mind as its mate above, it shares a sense of firm yet not hard balance and has the similarly youthful outlook to its developing central character. Supple in mid-palate and somewhat polished to finish, this one will also age perfectly well yet it would be our choice of the Hansel Pinot 2013s to enjoy first alongside a pan-grilled steak or a pork loin chop.