2017 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay Cahill Lane
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale: $30.94 (was: $37.94)*
"Combining quality with reasonable prices and estate-grown grapes, you can’t do much better than Stephen Hansel’s Chardonnays..." - Robert Parker
For price, personality, and that unmistakably old-world style, Walter Hansel’s Chardonnays are about as good as it gets in the Russian River Valley. Hansel’s exuberant approach to Chardonnay is still very much Burgundian, just more Côte de Beaune than Chablis, and with their reputation for incredible value at this qualitative level, you will not want to wait on today’s 'Cahill Lane’ Chardonnay. Per Robert Parker “it is rare to see such reasonable prices for such high quality”, and that’s a sentiment we see again and again from nearly every critic. This single vineyard Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley is a joyful bottle of wine, and a perfect example of RRV at its best!
For nearly 20 years, Walter Hansel and his son Stephen kept their little operation a side project, planting their first vines with the help of Tom Rochioli, and making a few cases of wine for themselves, but in 1996 they began releasing their wines commercially. Ever since, their reputation for well crafted, small volume Pinot and Chardonnay has not waned, with Galloni declaring Stephen Hansel “one of the most intelligent winery owners in Sonoma.”
Despite previous releases being compared by Parker to a Corton-Charlemagne, the Cahill Lane Chardonnay is priced more in line with generic Bourgogne and entry level wine for many producers in Sonoma. With the bones to go a decade in the cellar, and the affordable price tag, this is one to grab by the case before it's all gone!
93 points, Vinous: "The 2017 Latour à Pomerol is a gorgeous wine that is at once deep and yet also super-expressive in its bouquet. Sweet tobacco, dried herbs, mint, pepper and spice give the 2017 striking aromatic presence to play off a core of ripe red cherry fruit. Medium in body yet wonderfully deep and fleshy, the 2017 has so much to offer. I like it as much from bottle as I did from barrel." - Antonio Galloni
*Offer publication date December 17, 2020. Pricing and availability subject to change.