Russian River Valley, Sonoma County

Walter Hansel Winery

Cahill Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006

David T

Tonight’s sipper is really beautiful. I found the 06 Walter Hansel Cahill after pairing & pouring their 08 a few weeks ago at Hedy’s Plate & Bottle dinner here at the house.

The 08 was really good but, this is even better. Much brighter, not as dark. A wine to pair or enjoy on its own. While the 08 shined better with food.

On the nose; bright, ripe cherries, raspberries, poached strawberries, softened blackberries, blue floral fruits, hint of rhubarb with a touch of brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, touch of nutmeg, medium dark spice, wood shavings, limestone, dry clay mixed with dry, powdery top soil, just a whiff of dry herbs, fresh red flowers & roses.

The palate is medium full and nicely resolved. It’s just a shade the other side of its top peak. Beautiful texture and mouthfeel. The wine is completely seamless wire to wire. Bright, ripe cherries, raspberries, poached strawberries, blackberries reduced, blue floral fruits, hint of rhubarb & pomegranate extract. Slightly burnt brown sugar, red vines, cherry cola, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, touch of nutmeg, medium dark spice, wood shavings, dry stems, limestone, dry clay mixed with dry, powdery top soil, just a whiff of dry herbs, fresh red flowers & roses. The acidity rains on the palate. The structure, length, tension and balance are in perfect harmony. The long, elegant, well balanced finish is beautiful and lasts minutes.

Photos of; Walter Hansel winery & restaurant, Pinot freshly harvested and headed to the WH winery, Stephen Hansel in the vineyard and one of beautiful Sonoma vineyards.

One producer note, Stephen was mentored by Tom Rochioli, who helped him in the early years of his winemaking, which began out of a garage!
— a day ago

Ellen, Sofia and 17 others liked this


Umino Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009

Shay A

Never heard of this producer? Burgundian. Spice, herbs, peppercorn and a black raspberry core. Tinge of green, but not in the way that is off putting...more just a part of this wine’s lean structure. A red and black fruit medley emerges after time in the glass. Whole cluster going on here for sure. Very cool. — a day ago

Dan FitzgeraldTrent Fletcher
with Dan and Trent
Bryan, Anna and 32 others liked this
JJ Lumia

JJ Lumia

@Shay A where’d you get it? Intrigued.
Shay A

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@JJ Lumia : This was a bottle kindly opened by a close friend of mine, @Dan Fitzgerald . Dan’s knowledge of new world Pinot and Chardonnays is second to none I’ve come across, so I’m never surprised when he pulls out bottles like this.

Carlisle Winery & Vineyards

Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel 2012

Like the rest of the 2012 zins from Carlisle, this is drinking very well at the moment. Terrific layers of dark blue and sweet red fruits, a sprinkling of warm spice top notes, and a long, succulent finish. This in a fantastic wine. — 7 days ago

Trent, Mike and 3 others liked this


Treehouse Vineyard Pinot Noir

2012 Cirq "Treehouse Vineyard" Russian River Pinot Noir from an amazing red-soiled Vineyard at an elevation of approximately 750 feet. I like to think of it as a more elegant Kosta Browne. Flowery, raspberry nose giving way to rose petal, cola, chocolate covered cherries and licorice on the mid palate. Vibrant acidity. Nice texture. Beautiful finish. Best showing to date, but I would say leave it in the cellar for a while. Built for aging, me thinks. Personally, I can’t wait to taste Michael’s new venture. Very talented winemaker. — 17 hours ago

Shay, Ellen and 11 others liked this
Shay A

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@Roman Sukley : Had this same bottle about a month or so ago. My first Cirq. Agree with your notes...looking forward to what becomes of this new venture.
Roman Sukley

Roman Sukley

@Shay A Just a heads-up, CIRQ is being folded into KB, and Michael is starting a new venture. Sign up if you haven’t already.
Shay A

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@Roman Sukley : I purchased a few bottles of CIRQ on the most current release back in May after signing up on CIRQ’s site a while back. Is there another/new list I need to get on?


Moonshine Ranch Pinot Noir 2004

Shay A

Probably my surprise of the night. Would have never guessed it was 14yrs young. Very youthful. Deep red in the glass with explosive aromatics full of rhubarb pie, lingonberry, black tea and nutmeg. Nice acidity carrying this. Secondary notes of sandalwood, herbal spice and tar. — a day ago

Dan FitzgeraldMark FlesherTrent Fletcher
with Dan, Mark and 1 other
Phil, Eric and 29 others liked this
Mark Flesher

Mark Flesher

For me, this was a great aged Pinot. The nose was very herbal with aged raspberry. Has perhaps lost a bit of its elegance but did gain some heft as it opened. Minerality and shale. Finished very well and longer than I expected. Really a nice bottle of wine from Dan! Scores of those one at this point will be all over the place as there are those who love the sweeter youthful side of Pinot and those who like this side.


Pillow Road Vineyard Chardonnay

Nothing’s gonna change until there are more pictures of American wine held in work gloves instead of wine held by models like they were holding perfume bottles Maybe you know what I’m saying . Maybe you don’t. — 7 days ago

James, Shawn and 4 others liked this

Spoto Wines

Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013

Shay A

Couldn’t end on a bad note, so trusty ‘ol Spoto made an appearance. Spoto wines are such a cool, unique and small production winery...every wine I’ve had has been fantastic. Some typical RRV traits were here like raspberry, black cherry cola and cedar but this is no high octane/extracted Pinot...really nice balance. Some definite spice here with a gripping finish. I’d say this is best enjoyed now and over the next few years. Thanks Mark! — 3 days ago

Mark Flesher
with Mark
Mark, Paul and 25 others liked this
Mark Flesher

Mark Flesher

Last one of these opened alongside a 2013 Sangiacomo Pinot from another producer, and this RRV Pinot definitely showed an incredible density from start to finish. A nose of youthful raspberry, mint, and spice. The entry is youthful red berry, but then goes to more of a minty and herbal side. Finishes with good weighty fruit. Nice Pinot, and I think this one is probably right at its height. Glad I decided to open this one because I cannot imagine this one really improving much more at all, and likely this one is on the decline in a few years.


Walker Vine Hill Syrah 2013

Greg Ballington

First winery on day two in Sonoma was Donelan Family Wines in Santa Rosa with Meredith. The last Rhone varietal red was the Walker Vine Hill Syrah. Sadly we were told that this was the last vintage that will be produced. This bottling is made up of 100% Syrah and is around 40-50% whole cluster fermented then aged for 20 months in 25% new French oak. 1,025 cases produced.

Insanely dark and inky purplish ruby red, completely coats the glass. Dark berries on the start of the nose followed up by cinnamon, cocoa, blueberries and some dustiness. Medium plus tannins (7/10) with a full body. Rich and layered palate with red currants, red plums, even a touch of blue fruits and some solid minerality. Long and lingering finish. Drink till 2028. (93+)

$$$ - Tasted at the winery. Retail price is $75.00.
— 3 months ago

India Okoh
with India
Shay, Phil and 8 others liked this

Merry Edwards

Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Pale yellow with pleasing aromas of citrus and peaches. One of the few barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc's which adds a wonderful toasty oak flavor setting this wine apart from the rest. Complex palate of flavors, fresh fruit, lemons, grapefruit, peaches and Asian pears. Slight earthiness with a smooth and creamy well balanced finish ending with a gentle sweet character. — 8 days ago

Eric, Daniel P. and 14 others liked this

Dehlinger Winery

Estate Bottled Russian River Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Dehlinger cabs always seem to hit the spot, especially with at least a decade on them. This one might still be on the upswing, given the tannins in the finish. Terrific. — 3 days ago

Shay, Robert and 3 others liked this