Walter Hansel The North Slope Chardonnay 2019 750ml - Bottle Shop of Spring Lake
Walter Hansel The North Slope Chardonnay 2019 750ml
SKU: 06714

Walter Hansel The North Slope Chardonnay 2019

  • v94

750ml
$39.99

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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 for most California wines 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. All of Steve's fruit is hand-harvested, and it is re-examined again at the winery. Hansel makes an average of 9 total passes through each vineyard. Each pass is time consuming and expensive but Stephen feels the vine rewards him with more concentrated flavors. 

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. The Chardonnays are whole cluster fermented and gently pressed to extract the juice. The cooperage varies from year-to-year, cuvée-to-cuvée, but none of the wine is aged on entirely new oak. One- and two-year-old barrels are always employed.

This vineyard site slopes 40 feet South to North with terrific sun exposure throughout the day and into the sunset. This is a field blend of French clone 95 and clone 76. These wines tend to show their Burgundy heritage.

Vinous
  • v94

The 2019 Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard is one of the most overtly, powerful wines in this range. A wine of real phenolic intensity, the North Slope is a structured, savory Chardonnay that is going to need a few years to come around. It is incredibly distinctive. Crushed rocks, tangy herbs and lemon confit all grace a Chardonnay that balances power with transparency.

January 2021
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