2010 Walter Hansel "The Meadows" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Bright floral aromatics lead to white and yellow orchard fruit, spices and crushed rocks in the 2010 Chardonnay The Meadows Vineyard. This is a fairly restrained Chardonnay for Hansel, with less overtness than is typically the case. In 2010, The Meadows speaks to class and elegance. There is a pointed, focused quality to the finish that is particularly attractive. The Meadows is a fabulous value in Russian River Chardonnay. In 2010 Hansel bottled the Meadows separately for the first time. Previously, this fruit had gone into the Estate Chardonnay. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. 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.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright gold. Spice-accented aromas of peach, fig and Meyer lemon, with a smoky overlay. Offers juicy pit and orchard fruit flavors sharpened by spice and ginger elements that gain strength with air. Shows an appealing mix of ripeness and vivacity on the finish, which leaves a refreshingly bitter citrus zest note behind.
The newest addition to the Walter Hansel Family! An amazing Value for this opulent cool climate Chardonnay from the Hanzell & Dijon Clones. Don't miss out on this! It is everything you want from a California Chard, but with Burgundian elegance! (Christie Cartwright, K&L Hollywood Buyer)