Walter Hansel "North Slope" Pinot Noir 2021
(Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California) - [JD 94] [VM 92]
Regular price $50.00 Sale price $45.97 Save $4.03
About the Winery:
Walter Hansel was a lifelong wine enthusiast who had the vision to plant his estate's original 250 vines down the road from Kistler and Dehlinger in 1978. Today, Stephen, Walter's son - who studied under Tom Rochioli - has taken up where his father left off, pursuing his vision of producing world-class Burgundian-styled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, all from the Russian River Valley.
At Walter Hansel Winery, the emphasis is on low yields (a miniscule range from 1.5 to 2.7 tons/acre) for greater complexity. Since all their grapes are grown on their own property, they can exercise strict control in the vineyards, which are planted with 5 Pinot and 5 Chardonnay clones. Each clone was chosen for its specific acid and flavor variations. The winery uses only natural yeast during fermentation. Fining and filtration are minimal. The Pinots are held on the lees without racking for 12 months.
About the Vineyard:
The North Slope begins four feet from the end of the South slope and continues to slope to the North. It is 100% French clone 115. The close proximity to the South slope does not influence these flavors as clone 115 exhibits the most fruit driven flavors and appears more "New World" then French.
94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"A very attractive and floral perfume cascades from the glass of the 2021 Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard. Displaying a bright yellow-golden color, it leads with notes of honeycomb, melon, incense, and lemon rind, and although it’s full-bodied, it reveals a more linear and elegant profile on the palate, with a silky texture and a mineral accent of wet asphalt. It’s a very pretty style of white with a graceful and savory finish. Drink 2024-2030." - (Nov 2023)
92 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2021 Pinot Noir The North Slope Vineyard is a heady, explosive Russian River Pinot. A burst of dark red/purplish berry fruit opens first, followed by sweet floral and spice notes that build effortlessly. This exuberant Pinot is an absolute delight. The North Slope has a touch more savoriness than is the norm in these wines.
Stephen Hansel turned out a brilliant set of 2021 Pinots that confirm all the promise I sensed in the tank samples just prior to bottling. The 2021s are deep, beautifully perfumed, and super-expressive. Readers will find a collection of Russian River Pinots that offers a compelling mix of fruit intensity and energy. Best of all, the wines remain exceedingly fairly priced, especially in today’s environment. These are among the very finest Pinots I remember tasting here.”