94 Insider Points

REVIEWS

"This bright, expressive wine is well-articulated with flavors of lemon custard, tropical fruits, and orange blossom. A viscous, firmly-structured palate adds notes of nutmeg, ripe lemons and spicy oak, all merging in an elegant finish." - 94 Insider Points

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Chardonnay
  • ALCOHOL
    14.00%
  • SIZE
    750ml

93pts Vinous The 2017 Chardonnay The Estate Vineyard is fabulous and also one of the very finest values in California wine.  In 2017, I am especially impressed by the wine's energy and tension, both of which are remarkable given the hot, dry conditions that marked so much of the year.  Dried apricot, flowers and mint are all nicely delineated in this vibrant, super-expressive Chardonnay from Hansel.


This is a superb set of wines from Stephen Hansel. In my view, the Hansel Chardonnays and Pinots are quintessential expressions of the Russian River Valley. Best of all, these are some of the most fairly priced wines readers will find anywhere in the world. -- Antonio Galloni, May 2019

THE STORY TO KNOW

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.