One nice thing about being in the wine business is being taken out by distributors and wine makers to try new wines! One of our best salesmen took us out recently to one of our favorite bring your own spots to try some really special wines. Below are the wines we tasted in the order we tasted them. I paired all of these with my salad with blue cheese dressing and turkey panini sandwich.
Walter Hansel Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Russian River Valley Sonoma - This really took me by surprise! A wonderful nose with sort of a New Zealand gooseberry aroma along with melon and citrus. The almost creamy palate included flavors of melon and lime with a nice refreshing finish. A great summer wine. Available at The Wine Buyer at this link: Hansel Sauv Blanc 2005
- my score 91 Points.
Walter Hansel Cuvee Alyce Chardonnay 2003 - Unfortunately this bottle was corked. You find out after awhile that screwcaps are probably a really good idea and hopefully they will be used more and more as time goes on to avoid this sort of problem. For you neophytes, corked wines contain a chemical called TCA that humans can detect in minute quantities in a wine. It comes from the cork and is also called cork taint. If the amount in the cork is too high and leaches into the wine the juice takes on a musty, old newspaper sort of smell, yuk!
Walter Hansel Cahill Lane Chardonnay 2003 - Nice aromas of light pear and melon. The palate was VERY SMOKY with apple, pear and a creamy lingering finish. If you don't like the smoke, you won't like this wine. I was a little taken aback with this to start but it really grew on me as I took a few more sips. This wine is carried at The Wine Buyer at this link: Hansel Cahill Lane Chard 2003
- my score 91 Points.
Walter Hansel Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2002 - This Burgundian styled Pinot has a bit of the earthy, funky nose you get from a lot of Burgundies along with cherry berry aromas. These aromas carry right through to the flavors of red cherry and earth. Available at The Wine Buyer at this link: Hansel RR Pinot 2002
- my score 90 Points.
Walter Hansel Cuvee Alyce Pinot Noir 2002 - Let me preface these notes by saying that this wine will definitely benefit from breathing. When we first tried it, it was a little closed and I wasn't sure but after letting it sit for about 30 minutes we went back and tried it again and it had started to open up nicely. The nose was earthy here as well but the sweet cherry aroma really dominates. The palate was very smooth with earthy, spicy, elegant cherry flavors and a lingering finish. Also carried by The Wine Buyer at this link: Hansel Cuvee Alyce Pinot 2002
- my score 92 Points.
Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois Cuvee Vignals 2004 - I really liked the 2003 edition of this wine. This one seems a little tight right now. It will probably benefit from a few months in the bottle. It did have cherries, plums and earth in the nose with spicy black cherry and blackberry with a short to medium finish. This landed in the states just a couple of weeks ago so it my need time to unwind just from that alone. It's available at The Wine Buyer at this link: Coupe Roses Minervois 2004
- My eventual score could range from 86 to 90 Points. We'll come back and try this one again in a month or so.
So there's our first set of wines. Let us know what you think, especially if you've tasted any of these wines.