Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay Russian River Valley Cuvée Alyce 2003
External Reviews for Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay Russian River Valley Cuvée Alyce
Green-tinged yellow. A complex, spicy bouquet displays scents of pear skin, orange, white flowers and smoky minerals. Pliant citrus and orchard fruit flavors show palate-staining depth and are sharpened by suave minerality and a touch of bitter lime pith. Plays richness off energy and finishes with impressive spicy and floral persistence.
Slightly better is the 2006 Chardonnay North Slope, which displays crushed rock, white currant, and quince notes, a bit of pineapple and poached pear, and some hints of smoky nuts in a full-bodied, evolved, but complex style. This too needs to be drunk soon - 1-2 years.
Bright gold. Pungent, high-pitched aromas of lemongrass, lime, smoky minerals and jasmine. Deep, pliant and suave, with terrific minerality giving lift to its citrus and floral flavors. Building spiciness adds complexity to the extremely long, sappy finish. I really like this wine's blend of vivacity and power.
The sensational, flowery-styled 2009 Chardonnay The North Slope (made from Davis clones) comes from a cool parcel with a northerly exposition. This wine possesses zesty acidity as well as abundant peach, nectarine, orange and crushed rock-like characteristics. There is more minerality and density than the Cahill Lane and Estate cuvées. There is no evidence of new oak in this offering, which should drink nicely for 5-6 years.
Hazy yellow color. Strikingly complex nose suggests ripe pear, orange, anise and dusty minerals. Juicy and fresh, with admirably restrained citrus and orchard fruit flavors. Reminded me of a suave Puligny-Montrachet. A delicious wine with excellent finishing lift and clarity.
Similar in style, the 2008 Chardonnay The North Slope comes from a slightly cooler site. The light straw color with a greenish hue is followed by abundant notes of quince, white currants, white peaches, and such honeyed tropical fruits as pineapples and oranges. It, too, will drink well for 7-8 years.
The last releases of Chardonnays from the brilliant 2005 vintage for this varietal include the 2005 Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard. Burgundian notes of hazelnut, brioche, white currants, and hints of peach and crushed rocks are impressive and intense. This is a full-bodied Chardonnay with crisp acidity that should age nicely for 5-6 years. It was aged in French cooperage (mostly Francois Freres and about 49% new oak).