2013 Walter Hansel "Cahill Lane" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1271269 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 As for the late-released Pinot Noirs, the 2013 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane is made from Dijon clones 114 and 115, along with Rochioli material. This is a beauty, a classic Russian River Pinot Noir with notes of strawberry, black cherry, rose petal, dusty/loamy soil notes and foresty aromas. Rich with plenty of berry fruit on the palate, the wine is full-bodied, pure and well-balanced. This should drink well and last for at least a decade or more. All of these Pinot Noirs are bottled unfined and unfiltered just like the Chardonnays. This is an enviable winery run by Stephen Hansel with exceptionally high-quality Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that he sells at modest prices, which speaks to his humility and commitment to serious wine consumers. There are more than 80 acres of estate, so it is not small, split evenly between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He breaks the cuvées down by their vineyard terroir/site. (RP)  (10/2016)

93 points Vinous

 Dark red and blue fruits, smoke, wild flowers and spices flesh out in the 2013 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane. Round, succulent and hugely expressive, the 2013 is another wine built on pure balance and overall harmony. The 2013 captures an appealing combination of intensity and brightness. 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. In particular, the Estate Chardonnay, $25 a bottle, is surely one of the best values in wine. The Hansel wines capture the essence of the Russian River in their exuberant, forward personalities. In my view, the Chardonnays are reference points for what Wente clone Chardonnay is all about. The Chardonnays see some lees stirring and spend about ten months in oak. The Pinots see a five day cold-soak and are vinified, fully destemmed, in open-top wood fermenters, after which they are aged in French oak, about 60% new. 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...What's not to like? (AG)  (1/2015)

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Price: $38.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2016 | Send Email
It seems like we e-mail you a few times every year expounding on just how good the wines of Walter Hansel are. You may be getting sick of these e-mails by now. You may be wondering if we owe them some great debt, or if they own a part of K&L, or if they give us a free Volkswagen every time we sell a pallet of their wine. The answer to all of these, of course, is no. The reason why we send these e-mails to you is that there are very, very few producers in the US right now that make wines that are this consistently crowd pleasing, affordable --the winery has raised prices only once in the last decade, critically acclaimed and just downright tasty.
The 2013 Walter Hansel “Cahill Lane” Pinot Noir is wonderful right now. Forward and youthful this Pinot is stacked with earth/spice complexity and fruity charm. Maybe a touch more rustic on the nose than usual this has very enjoyable notes of roasted beets and wet clay over more typical Hansel markers of pomegranate and cherry pit. With that welcome earthy note comes a bit more structure and over-all this comes off with a bit more seriousness than in recent vintages. As that earthy outer layer peels away in the mouth then comes all the typical sassafras, Bing cherry, white sage and white pepper flavors that are so typical and welcome in the Hansel Pinots. This like its Chardonnay counterpart is just coming out of its youthful awkwardness so I’d recommend a decant of about an hour to have this hitting on all cylinders.

Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/9/2016 | Send Email
Soft berry fruit, dried rose hip and baking spices to cap it off. This year is more "Burgundian" in style than some of Hansel's previous vintages. In my opinion it's one of the best pound-for-pound Pinot Noirs in the category right now. 2013 was an awesome vintage - as evidenced by this wine - in the Russian River AVA and the surrounding territories. Sip or sit on this bottle. Your choice. For the patient connoisseur I'm confident that this wine will continue to develop for the next 8 to 12 years.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
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.