WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    100% Chardonnay
  • APPELLATION
    Russian River Valley
  • ALCOHOL
    14.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml
  • AGING/COOPERAGE
    50% new and 50% one year Seguin Moreau barrles. Barrel fermented and aged for 10 months.

95pts Wine Advocate: The 2016 Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce is scented of fresh grapefruit, pineapple and warm apricots with hints of chalk dust, fresh ginger, brioche and cashews. Medium to full-bodied, it packs in tons of opulent tropical and spice flavors, with a pleasant oiliness to the texture and a very long finish. 1,120 cases produced.

94pts Vinous: The 2016 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce is one of the showiest of these 2016 Pinots from Steve Hansel. Deep, pliant and super-expressive, the 2016 is beautifully balanced from the first taste. A rush of super-ripe red/purplish fruit, rose petal and spice builds as this racy, voluptuous Pinot shows off its sensual, alluring personality.

This is an enviable winery run by Stephen Hansel with exceptionally high-quality Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that he sells at modest prices, which speaks to his humility and commitment to serious wine consumers. There are more than 80 acres of estate, so it is not small, split evenly between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He breaks the cuvées down by their vineyard terroir/site. 
--Robert Parker

Walter Hansel was a lifelong wine enthusiast who had the vision to plant his estate's original 250 vines in 1978. Today, Stephen, Walter's son, 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.

Steve Hansel's friend, famed winemaker Tom Rochioli, helped him in the early stages of his wine education by inviting him to work a couple of harvests at the Rochioli vineyards. Steve performed his first solo attempt in 1996 out of his garage.

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.

TASTING NOTES 

Alyce tends to be the most oppulent of the Chardonnays from Walter Hansel with beautiful depth and richness. The Chardonnay is whole-cluster pressed into French oak for fermentation. The primary fermentation lasts 2-3 weeks and the malolactic fermentation can last into the following spring. Cuvee Alyce is a barrel selection of the most concentrated barrels from all of the Hansel Estate Vineyard sites.