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 Vintage2004 Label 1 of 8 
ProducerWalter Hansel Winery (web)
VarietyPinot Noir
VineyardThe North Slope Vineyard
SubRegionSonoma County
AppellationRussian River Valley

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2006 and 2015 (based on 17 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Walter Hansel Pinot Noir North Slope on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 90.7 pts. and median of 92 pts. in 113 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 5/8/2015 & rated 82 points: More advanced vs previous bottles. Lots of ripe black fruit with ok spice, just also far too ripe, hot and jammy. Bottle says 14.5% alcohol, which is too high for Pinot Noir, but I think it is higher than that. (408 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 2/1/2015 & rated 86 points: Very ripe black berry and cherry, still fresh and powerful, just more jammy than I would prefer. (813 views)
 Tasted by wine65 on 7/11/2014 & rated 90 points: Floral nose, sweet berries on palate very silky texture. Not very complex but fun to drink, I don't see a reason to hold any longer, once the fruit fades there won't be much left. (904 views)
 Tasted by Uglypinga on 7/13/2013: dark cherries and amazing white chocolate on the still intense nose. the palate is thick and juicy. loads of ripe cherries w a hint of mint. (2149 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 6/2/2013 & rated 85 points: Much like I remember from another bottle a year or so ago. Overripe mostly black fruit with lots and lots of oak. Still, enough stuffing helps provide reasonable balance, even if not my preferred style of Pinot Noir. (2564 views)
 Tasted by Uglypinga on 4/10/2013: Amazing nose of bright red fruits and citrus. Bright and mouth watering. The palate is mouth coating but lively. Great acid lifts the red toned fruit. As it warms it shows darker fruit and some chocolate. Smooth and sexy. (2297 views)
 Tasted by Uglypinga on 9/21/2012: This wine has never disappointed me and remains one of my top three favorite pinots ever. Deep dark nose of blackberry liqueur, caramel and spices. The palate is sweet and lively with the most amazing tangerine notes surrounding the dark fruits. Great acid, great mouthfeel and soft tannins. Delicious but I'll be drinking my two remaining bottles soon. After a few hours it looses something. (2756 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 1/14/2012 & rated 87 points: Aromas of overripe black cherry with some good spice front-and-center, both from fruit and new oak. Palate is similarly jammy and overly ripe, showing lots of fruit intensity and power, not showing any charm or nuance. Still, this wine keeps its balance, avoiding the heat, flabbiness and top-heavy character found in too many similarly crafted bottlings of Russian River Pinot Noir. (2903 views)
 Tasted by mouton45 on 12/21/2011 & rated 93 points: Wow, this was a bit of a nice surprise as to how good this wine is. Rich, plummy nose. Outstanding mouth-feel. at least a 30-second finish. look for more!! (2092 views)
 Tasted by Uglypinga on 11/25/2011: Great nose of black cherries, baking spices and a little earth. The palate is ripe and sweet with more ripe cherries and cinnamon. Smooth and creamy with a very long finish. Love it. (2071 views)
 Tasted by Rojo on 10/9/2011 & rated 91 points: Had last night with brother in law and family, send off dinner. Some liked this better than the 2004 KB Sonoma Coast, still has more fruit at this stage. (2020 views)
 Tasted by beezer6 on 4/28/2011 & rated 92 points: Wine Flock California Pinot Noir 2001-2008 (Dennis' Place on Erie): Pungent nose. A little spicy cherry. Lots of spice in fact. Some heat on the nose. Ripe candied fruit. Strawberries, creamy unctuous palate. Really rich and structured. Nice backbone. Dark robust coffee spice. nice finish. Weighty mouth feel. Meaty play. Velvety and rich in style. (2472 views)
 Tasted by cadamson on 3/26/2011 & rated 78 points: This is a shell of what it was....alcohol dominates at this point with strong cherry fkavors. Drinkable, but not much else can be said. (2380 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 12/11/2010: Saturday night at home with roast chicken pan fried potatos and salad. Wine - "ok" not geat. Will wait to enjoy the last bottle. (2572 views)
 Tasted by iamandyc on 11/28/2010 & rated 92 points: Understand the love-hate thing people have for this wine as it is the "dark side" of pinot. But this is an outstanding example of what it is. It has clearly all come together and sings its baritone style with gusto. The other notes describe its flavors and smells well. (2708 views)
 Tasted by alexhay on 8/24/2010 & rated 90 points: Right now, this wine is anything but elegant. It is in-your-face pinot noir with a level of intensity many associate with Rhones. While there is lots going on, it is not my style, nor is it for those who are not fans of pinot-zin(fandel). Earlier bottles were far more approachable in their youth than today. Complex? Yes. Intense? Also yes, but to a degree that will likely turn off those who also appreciate the subtleties pinot noir can offer. (3069 views)
 Tasted by cadamson on 8/7/2010 & rated 90 points: Dark violet. Big on the nose and palate (Imean huge), especially dark berries, liqueur and some spice. Too big for a pinot, but somehow mostly in balance. Still has a few years to go, though I would expect in some years, as the fruit fades, this will become all alcohol, little taste. Still, for today, if in the mood for something big, yet still reasonably light on its feet, this is not bad at all. (2986 views)
 Tasted by gastromd on 7/30/2010 & rated 93 points: Medium-bodied, smooth with a good finish, berry taste, and snow smells fresh. It is now seamless and ready with all that it is supposed to deliver. (3053 views)
 Tasted by wino_tim on 7/23/2010 & rated 95 points: Still quite primary, but so gorgeous, pure and complex with an elegant feel to its red cherry pie, forrest floor, red flower liqueur, cranberry, and fall leaf aromas. Rich, seamless, and nearly full bodied on the palate, with loads of red fruit and spice flavors. This wine is packed with fruit, but has the structure and mouthfeel of of a top-flight Volnay. (3172 views)
 Tasted by rralls on 5/2/2010 & rated 94 points: 94+. Sat. wine lunch. Great wine. Finesse and everything else you want in a pinot. Wine of the afternoon since it is peaking and drinking great. (3246 views)
 Tasted by iamandyc on 4/3/2010 & rated 92 points: I think this pinot is outstanding for its style. Smokey, barnyard, strong fruit with an unmistakable pinot smell. It's big and darker style. Balanced and is evolving nicely. Plenty left. (3359 views)
 Tasted by Baggio on 11/26/2009 & rated 92 points: Excellent. Noticeably softer than the last bottle. (3766 views)
 Tasted by rickspicks on 10/19/2009 & rated 87 points: I have been disappointed by this wine - and this bottle is no exception. Flavors are very big and rich - black cherry, brown sugar, spice. However it is an over-extracted fruit bomb with no subtlety or finesse. This is about as big as a pinot can get - and not at all my style. (3909 views)
 Tasted by winelovr2001 on 9/19/2009 & rated 95 points: Gorgeous bouquet of crushed berries, black cherry, spice, and
Great acid. Stunning. (3947 views)
 Tasted by JOJ on 9/6/2009 & rated 88 points: Good for what it is, but certainly not the stunner that Parker describes. It is an extracted, fruity, high alcohol pinot. Lots of black cherry, brown sugar, cola, and clove. Some alcohol burn. Better pre dinner than with a meal. Not subtle. No nuance. (4003 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (9/12/2007)
(Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir The North Slope Vineyard) Black cherry and cola nose; sweet overripe fruit, black cherry; medium finish 90+ pts.  90 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Walter Hansel Winery

Producer website

Pinot Noir

Varietal character (Appellation America) | Varietal article (Wikipedia)
Pinot Noir is the Noble red grape of Burgundy, capable of ripening in a cooler climate, which Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot will not reliably do. It is unpredictable and difficult both to grow and to vinify, but results in some of the finest reds in the world. It is believed to have been selected from wild vines two thousand years ago. It is also used in the production of champagne. In fact, more Pinot Noir goes into Champagne than is used in all of the Cote d'Or! It is also grown in Alsace, Germany, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Austria, and so forth, with varying degrees of success.


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Sonoma County

Sonoma County Vintners

Russian River Valley

Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association | Wikipedia

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