March 28, 2007

2002 Walter Hansel South Slope Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California

Several weeks ago we reviewed the 2002 Walter Hansel Pinot Noir and while I ended up really enjoying it, Cat did not. I knew that this winery also offered a few single vineyard Pinot Noirs and this is the first we have been able to try.

After sitting decanted for about an hour we glass tasted and found the wine immediately approachable. The nose had nice, round fruit of berries... primarily sweeter blueberry and a little blackberry. There is also a really nice fragrant floral component to the nose that we notice in some California Pinot Noirs. The floral scents are balanced by a little smoke and just a bit of alcohol. The palate is round and puts the fruit right out there with more berry, some cherry but not as deeply sweet as the nose. There is some wet soil flavors (like wet soil smells...) and a little peppery spice in there with really, really subtle cedar on the finish. This wine is lighter, totally Burgundian in style and remarkably complex. As we drank this Pinot Noir over the next hour or so it continued to open and soften, being incredibly well balanced and elegant. This was a terrific bottle of wine.

cost - $37.99

winecommando rating (1-10) - 9

this wine is available at Raeder's Wines online

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