Tasting Note                         

93   2009 Walter Hansel  Cuvee Alyce  Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)  3/4/12 ($40)

  14.6% alc
Color: Deep bright gold. (3.5) Bouquet: Ripe poached pear, elegant butterscotch and toast, complemented by a little floor wax and quinine. (3.0) Body: Heavyweight with outstanding fruit concentration and excellent acidity. Has a rich mouthfeel that coats. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but more giving and delicious. Fruit turning slightly towards dried pear and white raisins in a good way (not overripe) with uplifting minerality. (3.5) Finish: Not quite as distinctive as the flavor. The ripe fruit covers the complexity at this point. Also shows a touch of bitterness, but the minerality lingers. (3.0)
Overall: A serious Russian River Valley Chardonnay with a combination of deliciously ripe, concentrated CA style fruit (in this case poached pear, butterscotch and toast) propelled by excellent acidity and minerality. In spite of this, it shows enough restraint to also be very well balanced and not the least bit overdone. Wonderful now, but could improve in the next 5 years. (16.5)

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