Walter Hansel The South Slope Pinot Noir 2018
|Region||California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley|
Today’s 2016 is noteworthy for its subtle oak component, allowing fruit and earth to take center stage: In the glass, it’s a medium ruby with hints of magenta at the rim, leading with ripe wild berry fruits: blackberries, raspberries, and just about every other berry you might pluck off a prickly bush. High-toned aromas of violets and roses are balanced with savory bass notes of warm spice and forest floor, and while the wine doesn’t lack for concentration, it has a lithe and energetic quality to it that bodes well for aging (5-10 years at least).
Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir South Slope has gorgeous aromas of blood orange, cracked pepper, cranberries and red and black cherries loaded with earthy, amaro-like nuances. The medium-bodied palate is silky, fresh and uplifted, its concentrated fruits refreshed by loads of spicy accents, and it finishes long and detailed. 1,083 cases produced.
The 2018 Pinot Noir The South Slope Vineyard is a super-classic Russian River Pinot built on textural richness and volume. Ripe red cherry, blueberry, spice, mint and licorice infuse the 2018 with striking layers of nuance. A wine of substance and power, the 2018 is going to need a bit of time to unwind. It is maybe just a bit less refined than some of the other Pinots in the range, but it holds quite a bit of appeal, especially for readers who like big Pinots.