The 2018 ‘The North Slope’ Pinot Noir has a medium ruby-purple color with "deep aromas of cranberries, blackberries and rhubarb accented by blood orange, pipe tobacco and forest floor. The palate is medium-bodied, both powerful and elegant, with concentrated, detailed flavors, a silky, fresh frame and long, lifted finish." In the 1970's Walter Hansel enlisted his son, Stephen, to help plant 257 chardonnay vines. Throughout the 1980's their entire family would harvest the half-acre of grapes and Walter would make the wine, which totaled two barrels. After asking their friend, Tom Rochioli, for help with winemaking, Stephen developed a passion to understand everything about the vineyards and the process of making wine. This passion influenced his quest for growing World-class wines. Their first commercial vintage was 1996 and since that time, they have done exactly that- produced exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and a price point that is far less than their quality. 95 Points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
At Walter Hansel Winery, the emphasis is on low yields (a miniscule range from 1.5 to 2.7 tons/acre) for greater complexity. Since all their grapes are grown on their own property, they can exercise strict control in the vineyards, which are planted with 5 Pinot and 5 Chardonnay clones.