2002 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay Cahill Lane (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

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California, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, USA, Walter Hansel, White Wine

I got some fresh cooked, wild-caught dungeness crab last night and felt like opening a rich and flavorful Chardonnay with it. This didn’t disappoint. Color is beginning to go golden slightly, but it’s still a little pale. Nose is pure honey comb and beeswax with ripe Chardonnay fruit. Actually reminds me just a little of young Sauternes without the sweetness. Rich and round on the palate with some roasted nuts and lemon oil, lemon curd, and orange zest. Finish just goes on and on. 2002 is still Stepen’s best vintage for his whites, I believe, at least in the richer, more typical style. The 2005s turned out more zingy and austere, so for you Chablis afficionados, that would be a better vintage to dip into as 2002 will probably not win you over.

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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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