Wine Review – 2006 Walter Hansel Russian River Chardonnay, Sonoma, California

Dense, packed, tight and  a little young.  hanselchardThese are descriptors I often use to describe red wines that I come in contact with, but this time I found myself using this to describe what I experienced the 2006 Walter Hansel Russian River Chardonnay.  I’ve been curious about this wine since I stumbled across it; probably while surfing some retailer’s website.  After perusing the Walter Hansel website and getting some background information on the winery and the wines, I became interested.  Why?  I don’t know.  Sometimes the descriptions of the wines resonate with you and the stories behind the wine give you a warm, fuzzy I guess. I was stoked to find this on the shelf at The Woodland Hills Wine Company during our holiday vacation in California.  They have several more expensive single vineyard bottles, but I decided to just start off with their cheaper, basic Russian River Appelation blend.  I always find it a little more fiscally prudent to start off with a winery’s entry level wine in order to get an idea of their style before busting out for their more expensive single vineyard bottlings.

My tasting notes:

The wine had a nice golden, creamy and somewhat cloudy color.  A good sign that the wine was probably unfined and filtered before bottling.  Flavors of lemon and some tropical fruit were present.  Minerality in a California sort of way and a fleshy texture as well.  While the wine really drank nicely at the table with our crustacean guests of honor, I feel like it was something you could put down for a couple of years and come back to and have a completely different experience, albeit another good one of course.

I liked the wine a lot, thought that it had a lot of character, and I look forward to trying more of their other offerings.  According to their website, everything that goes into their bottles is estate fruit from vineyards that they own.  No other grape sources are brought in to blend with the theirs.  I like and respect that they’ve chosen to do this.  It allows them to have complete control of their fruit sources from beginning to end, is an important aspect to quality control.  It also allows them to showcase the purest expression of their product.  What you see is what you get, and I’m liking what I got.  Salut!

I bought the wine for $28.99 + tax at The Woodland Hills Wine Company.

If you are in Hawaii, I found out that Hansel wines are now being brought in by R. Field Wine Co. Ph.# 596-9463

Walter Hansel Winery & Vineyards

Other places to find their wines

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