“A terrific source of sensational Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays made very much in the style
of the wines proprietor Stephen Hansel loves the most, white and red Burgundies, this
80-acre estate continues to build on a brilliant track record of high quality wines
offered to consumers at sensationally fair prices.”  —Robert Parker, Jr.

Stephen Hansel

Stephen Hansel – Proprietor of Walter Hansel Winery

Proprietor and founder Stephen Hansel built the winery, and as an homage to his father, named it Walter Hansel Winery.  He started making wines with the help of long time friend and fellow grape grower, Tom Rochioli.  Ever since, the wines have gone from strength to strength and developed a very loyal following of fans who love Russian River Valley Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

Current Release of Walter Hansel Wines

(Reviews taken from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate)

Walter Hansel 2007 Pinot Noir South Slope

“From Dijon clone 777, the 2007 Pinot Noir South Slope is from the highest elevation of any of the Hansel vineyards (and there are 80 acres). It has deep plum and pomegranate notes with hints of sassafras and wood spice. The wine displays a nice, subtle smokiness, medium to full body, good acidity, and a long finish. Unfortunately, there is very little made. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2016.” ($36)

Walter Hansel 2007 Pinot Noir North Slope

“From cool-climate soils, the 2007 Pinot Noir North Slope (Dijon clone 115 exclusively) is another admirable Pinot Noir. Notes of root vegetables, underbrush, clove, cinnamon, and oodles of black cherry and black currant fruit are present in this dark ruby/purple-tinged wine. Good acidity, full-bodied power, and plenty of concentration and depth characterize this very promising Pinot, which should evolve for at least a decade.” ($36)

Walter Hansel 2007 Chardonnay North Slope

“From one of the colder sites in the Hansel portfolio, the 2007 Chardonnay North Slope has an almost liqueur of rocks interwoven with nectarine and honeyed citrus. A wine of terrific intensity, full-bodied power, but restrained wood and great acidity, this is a beauty that should drink nicely for 5 or more years.” —Robert Parker, Jr.

Walter Hansel 2008 Chardonnay Diamond Vineyard – Carneros

In 2008, Walter Hansel added two negociant wines from two vineyards; the Diamond Vineyard in Carneros, and the Feeney Home Ranch Vineyard in the Russian River Valley.

“The 2008 Chardonnay Diamond Ranch exhibits pleasant, straightforward tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and a touch of spice notes. It is round, fruity, and attractive.” —Robert Parker, Jr.  ($22)

Walter Hansel 2007 Chardonnay Feeney Home Ranch Vineyard
Russian River Valley

“More white peach and honeysuckle characteristics are found in the medium-weight 2008 Chardonnay Feeney Home Ranch. Both wines are meant to be drunk during their first 1-2 years of life.” —Robert Parker, Jr.  ($22)

Photos of a tasting I attended with Stephen and some visiting clients.

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