2005 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

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California, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, USA

Nice dark color. Terrific nose bursting with cherry, earth, truffle, rose petals and lilacs. Superb balance on the palate with outstanding fruit, spice and structure, as well as a very seductive texture. Finish just keeps going…I think I may have said it before…I believe 2005 is Stephen’s best vintage yet and it’s eerily reminiscent of his 2002s in my mind. This 2005 Cuvee Alyce seems like it has returned to showing some of the funk of the 2003 and earlier vintages, but with greater focus and purity. Knowing Stephen and his winemaking skills, I believe this can be left alone for at least 3 more years and hold many years beyond, but it is very delicious right now. One of the best Hansels I have tasted (and I have had most of the Pinots from vintage 2001 on). Highly recommended.

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I am not a professional wine taster, nor do I have any professional training in the wine trade. I am a wine enthusiast who has spent countless hours tasting wines of many different styles. My palate is not aligned with a single wine critic, and I call all wines "as I taste them". My site is a source of tasting notes and wine recommendations as well as warnings without conflict of interest. You'll just have to figure out how your palate aligns with mine. My palate generally tends to veer towards Old-World wines that put a premium on terroir and lovely balance and finesse, rather than raw power...please keep that in mind as you read my notes.

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