2015 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Cuvee Alyce Russian River

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2015 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Cuvee Alyce Russian River image

(93-94 points)  Produced primarily from Dijon cone 115, but also 777, the 2015 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce is another blue and red-fruit dominated wine, but with notes of rose petals and violets. It is more closed than the other Pinot Noir and seems to be almost pushing to get out of its relatively structured mouthfeel. This is intense, rich, more backward and probably has a significant upside, but will need several years of bottle age on release next year. The 2015 Pinot Noirs are still in barrel, hence these notes are all barrel samples. This was the earliest harvest for Stephen Hansel in more than a generation and the yields were frightfully low, averaging 40% off their average production that is never that high to begin with. All of these Pinot Noirs enjoy a 5-6 day cold soak and tend to see 50%-60% new oak and the rest one-year-old oak. They are set to be bottled unfined and unfiltered in November 2016. 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's Wine Advocate 10/2016


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