The 2012 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce, a blend of clones 115 and 777 grown in heavy clay soils, was made from tiny yields of one ton of fruit per acre. There are 1,125 cases of this stunning Pinot. Aged in 60% new French oak and the rest one-year-old barrels, the wine exhibits beautiful, sweet black raspberry and black cherry fruit, a touch of graphite and subtle wood, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and an opulent, sexy personality. Consume this beautiful Pinot Noir over the next decade or more. (RP)
Vivid red. Displays deeply pitched dark berry and cherry aromas, with oak spice and cola accents and a hint of candied flowers. In an opulent, fruit-driven style, offering sweet cherry and black raspberry flavors that become smokier and spicier with air. Supple tannins come up late on the finish, which extends the cola and berry notes. I'm tempted to recommend drinking this expressive Pinot on the young side, for its fruit, but it has the concentration to age. (ST)
Hansel's 2012 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce is a blend of clones 115 and 777 from clay-rich soils. Powerful tannins form a virtually impenetrable backbone that keeps the fruit from being fully expressive. Today, the Cuvée Alyce comes across as quite reticent, although it does open up a bit over time. Readers will need to be patient here, as this is far from an easygoing Russian River Pinot. Stephen Hansel is one of the most intelligent winery owners in Sonoma. More interested in getting people to drink his wines than in maximizing short-term profit, Hansel continues to offer some of the very best wines readers will find for the money...The Pinots see a five day cold-soak and are vinified, fully destemmed, in open-top wood fermenters, after which they are aged in French oak, about 60% new. After the large crop of 2012, Hansel dropped a significant amount of fruit in 2013, roughly 60% of the Pinot crop and 30% of the Chardonnay crop. Quality is high across the board and pricing remains incredibly consumer friendly throughout the range, making these some of the most delicious and compelling Sonoma wines readers will come across. Stephen Hansel also runs a number of successful car franchises in the area and clearly has a knack for putting the consumer first. What's not to like? (AG)
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