2005 Walter Hansel "Cuvee Alyce" Russian River Chardonnay

SKU #1036513

94 points from Robert Parker: "The 2005 Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce, which is a selection of the best barrels and named after Stephen Hansel’s mother, exhibits more honeysuckle, poached pear, and sauteed, buttery citrus. The wine has gorgeous fruit, terrific acidity, and underlying minerality and depth. This is a superb wine that should age nicely for 7-8 years. A terrific source of sensational Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays made very much in the style of the wines proprietor Stephen Hansel loves the most, white and red Burgundies, this 80-acre estate continues to build on a brilliant track record of high quality wines offered to consumers at sensationally fair prices." (Dec. 2007) 90 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright gold. Crisp apple and pear aromas, with deeper impressions of peach pit and melon. A bright, focused chardonnay with pear and Meyer lemon flavors accented by dusty minerals and sweet vanilla. Citrus pith and orchard fruits build on the long, energetic finish, which conveys a nervy impression of talc-y minerality." (May/Jun '07)


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Price: $29.99

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Additional Information:

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.
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.
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.