2015 Walter Hansel "Cuvee Alyce" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1363447 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce features lovely lemon curd, pink grapefruit and underripe pineapple with touches of toasted almonds, fresh ginger and honey toast. Medium-bodied and super intense in the mouth, it has a racy line cutting through the electrically charged fruit, finishing very long and minerally. 1,100 cases produced. (LPB) 94+  (6/2018)

93 points Vinous

 The 2015 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is the richest and most exotic of these wines. A classic Russian River Chardonnay, the Cuvée Alyce is laced with the essence of tangerine, honey, roasted almonds and butter. This open-knit, inviting Chardonnay will drink well right out of the gate. (AG)  (4/2018)

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Price: $34.95

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Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/12/2018 | Send Email
Once again this is a rich, full throttle tropical and citrus flavored beauty but with a definite freshness and lift not seen in the last few vintages, In this vintage the classic pineapple, orange oil, marmalade and baked apple flavors are carried by fresh acidity and vibrant tension giving the wine a more palate friendly and quaff-able personality.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/26/2018 | Send Email
A perennial favorite at K&L always delivering rich, powerful, vibrant Russian River Valley Chard at a price point that amazes me. Hansel are definitely near the top of the pile when it comes to quality California Chardonnay and yet the prices remain very reasonable. This wine walks the line between ripe citrus and tropical fruit elements with perfectly integrated flashes of oak, spice, hazelnut, and warm brioche. Soft, supple mouthfeel with nicely judged acidity to keep it bright and refreshing. Lots to love about this one. Classic CA Chard done very well. Limited availability due to low yields in 2015.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2018 | Send Email
I tasted this wine a few times and I'll suggest that the best way to drink and experience this wine is when it is less chilled. At this temperature the toasty nose was more faceted and offered more complexity, when cold it was just woody. Yet at a mid 60's temperature it really has more intrigue and shows it is a more complete wine. On the palate the wine has good weight to add to the wine's supple nature but it does have good balance and I really enjoyed the palate presence. The finish was full of complex barrel spice that really was complexity, not just woody. This is a perfect cocktail chardonnay or for a meatier fish like Halibut or Swordfish.
Drink from 2018 to 2022

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2018 | Send Email
Fans of rich, opulent California Chardonnay will go gaga over this wine. It shows lush, toasty, vanilla and cream notes with an unexpected lift from green apple acid. Walter Hansel has become a go-to for this style for very good reason, they do it right there. This is a good example of the style Russian River is producing and is showing brilliantly right now.

Additional Information:



- 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.

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.


- 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.
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 Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2