- Item #: i_204050Bottle Size: 750MLClark and Telephone Vineyard, located near the corner of Clark Avenue and Telephone Road in the Santa Maria Valley, is cooled by wind and fog that snakes in from the Pacific Ocean along a channel of the Santa Maria River. Established in 1972, the Clark and Telephone Vineyard was planted "own root" to the Martini clone. This heirloom clone of Pinot Noir, one of the first to grace the California coastlands, has become something of a lost treasure.
In the winery, the clusters were de-stemmed and the must underwent a cold soak. Fermentation began with the inoculation of yeast strains matched to each lot of grapes. The maceration process during fermentation consisted of a combination of punch-down and pump-over techniques, each day the techniques would be reassessed to ensure that we were riding the line between over extraction and under extraction. The wine was aged in French oak (60% percent new) for nine months and was racked once upon completion of malolactic fermentation and again upon blending.
Scarlet in color; bursting with aromas of cinnamon, caramel and hints of ginger-spiced tea. On the palate, the plush weight coats the mouth with more brown spice and sweet oak flavors, layered into the deep blueberry and strawberry base. The viscosity paired with the flavors and lively acidity lead into a long finish with supple tannins.
- Item #: i_214050Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "A classic Russian River Pinot, Dehlinger's 2017 Pinot Noir Goldridge is bold and succulent, with tons of presence and immediacy. Crushed red berries, spice and sweet red berry fruit all grace this super-expressive Pinot. Hints of dried cherry, hard candy, strawberry and sweet spice all add complexity. Best of all, the 2017 will drink well right out of the gate."
- Item #: i_216804Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 91Capturing the rustic elegance of the Anderson Valley, this wine begins with lively aromas of fresh-picked wild strawberry, dusty earth and sweet tobacco leaf. The dynamic strawberry aromas are echoed on the palate, where they are supported by supple tannins and a bright underlying acidity that adds energy and zest to a long, nuanced finish.
- Item #: i_228890Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 94Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford's appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast.
Don Hartford grew up on a small strawberry farm in western Massachusetts, and later attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After earning a BA. Don Hartford met his wife, Jennifer Jackson-Hartford, at Santa Clara University in Northern California in 1979. (Shortly thereafter, Jennifer's father, Jess, started a modest 16,000 case winery called Kendall-Jackson.) For more than twenty-five years, Don has been immersed in winemaking and winery management. In the process, Don has returned to one of his first loves—the land and farming.
Hartford Family Winery specializes in making wines from single vineyard sites. In recent vintages we have made about 25 different single vineyard bottlings. Small and low-yielding vineyards deliver expressive and personality-rich wine.
Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart have produced a sensational lineup of wines in 2015. This is a smaller yielding year, and while quantities are tiny, the wines are concentrated, rich, and flamboyant while also staying elegant and seamless. These are world-class Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that readers need to seek out!
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards is one of the more refined and pedigreed wines in this range. Rich and deep, yet also finely cut, the 2017 captures the magic of the coastal sites that go into the blend. Inky purplish fruit, sage, lavender, mint and spice all build as this super-expressive Pinot shows off its pedigreed personality. The 2017 is so nicely done."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Coming from the Far Coast and Seascape Vineyard (both on the Sonoma Coast), the 2017 Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards has a spicy, complex, incredibly attractive style that shows lots of upfront red and black fruits, dried herbs, and loamy earth aromatics, medium to full body, a rounded, supple texture, and a great finish. It's a great value play in this portfolio and I'd happily drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2017 Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards opens with spicy notions of fenugreek, cumin seed and cloves over a core of baked red plums, blackberry pie and blueberry preserves plus wafts of oolong tea and unsmoked cigars. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with black and blue fruit preserves, structured with finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. 1,500 cases were made."
- Item #: i_266440Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91Stoller's 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir is a blend of our older Pinot Noir vines, with Pommard being the dominant clone. They fermented this wine with native yeast in stainless steel tanks and their oak fermenter. It spent 12-months in French oak barrels during which it saw full malolactic conversion. After blending, the wine is put back in stainless steel tanks for another six months to gain extended time on lees and marry before bottling.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir is shy on the nose, offering earthy nuances over a core of red and black berries with citrus peel and floral sparks emerging with some air. It's medium-bodied, concentrated and silky, with a long, fresh finish. Give it another year or two in bottle. 8,000 cases were made."
- Item #: i_228260Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 95+ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - " 'Pricing is important to me, says Steven Hansel. 'In the marketplace, most people treat wine like a commodity—if people are willing to pay $100, that's what it's sold for—without any relation to what it actually costs to make. If we're going to get young people to drink wine, they can't pay those prices. I believe young people would like to enjoy wine, but they don't have the resources. So, why are we raising prices? If we charge too much, they'll buy tequila or something else—and then we're all out of a job.' An astute observation. The Hansel wines, besides being delicious, provide excellent value. Bravo!"
"Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane has a broody nose of sliced blueberry, black cherry and warm blackberries with cinnamon, nutmeg, tree bark and amaro accents plus crushed red cherries, raspberry jam, warm strawberries and dried flowers. Medium-bodied and silky, it fans out in the mouth with lush, concentrated fruits and tons and tons of spicy and earthy accents, with a firm frame of grainy tannins and very juicy acidity, finishing very long and layered. 750 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "This is a superb set of wines from Stephen Hansel. In my view, the Hansel Chardonnays and Pinots are quintessential expressions of the Russian River Valley. Best of all, these are some of the most fairly priced wines readers will find anywhere in the world."
"The 2017 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane Vineyard is soft, creamy and voluptuous, all of which give it tremendous raciness and immediacy, especially for this wine and given its bottling just two weeks before I saw it. Ripe red cherry/raspberry, mint, chalk and floral notes abound. The Cahill Lane is surprisingly, shockingly open at this stage, not that that will be an issue of any kind."
- Item #: i_228200Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 94To put it bluntly, if you enjoy balanced, flavorful, and complex Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, then the Walter Hansel Winery should be on your radar...plain and simple! Winemaker Stephen Hansel crafts masterpieces year-in and year-out from his family's 75+ acres in Russian River Valley, creating Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that remind us of premier cru Burgundy.
The Russian River Valley is regarded as one of the best regions in the world for growing top notch Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. For that reason, it is not uncommon for prices to exceed $75-$100 for a bottle from some producers...but not this producer. Stephen Hansel knows that if wineries keep charging elevated prices, then people start to look elsewhere. Even esteemed wine critic Antonio Galloni states that "these are some of the most fairly priced wines readers will find anywhere in the world."
So here we have somebody who makes wines from one of the best regions in the world, doesn't make a lot of them, he gets high scores from the critics, and charges reasonable prices?? Folks, if this doesn't get your attention, then check your pulse, because Walter Hansel Winery has been one of our favorite Sonoma County producers for over a decade, and the wines are guaranteed to rock your world!
ROBERT PARKER 94 POINTS - "'Pricing is important to me,' says Steven Hansel. 'In the marketplace, most people treat wine like a commodity—if people are willing to pay $100, that's what it's sold for—without any relation to what it actually costs to make. If we're going to get young people to drink wine, they can't pay those prices. I believe young people would like to enjoy wine, but they don't have the resources. So, why are we raising prices? If we charge too much, they'll buy tequila or something else—and then we're all out of a job.' An astute observation. The Hansel wines, besides being delicious, provide excellent value. Bravo!"
"The 2017 Pinot Noir Cuvee Alyce is pale to medium ruby-purple with scents of warm cinnamon, spiced cranberry sauce, orange peel, dried roses, tea leaves, warm earth, crushed strawberries, blackberries, saline and woodsmoke—so many layers! It's medium to full-bodied and floods the mouth with warm fruits laced with classy new oak spices. It has a frame of fine, grainy tannins and wonderful juicy freshness, finishing very long and layered. So good! 938 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "This is a superb set of wines from Stephen Hansel. In my view, the Hansel Chardonnays and Pinots are quintessential expressions of the Russian River Valley. Best of all, these are some of the most fairly priced wines readers will find anywhere in the world."
"The 2017 Pinot Noir Cuvee Alyce is showing very well, especially considering its recent bottling. Dense, pliant and juicy, the Cuvée Alyce has much to offer. A rush of dark raspberry, pomegranate, blood orange, mint and wild flowers builds in a deep, beautifully layered Pinot from Hansel."