"Bright ruby. Sexy aromas and flavors of red and dark berry preserves, potpourri and star anise, with a subtle touch of blood orange adding vivacity. Juicy, penetrating and concentrated, with strong finishing power and lingering florality. Pretty suave stuff and already delicious." (05/12) - 92PtsJosh Raynolds - International Wine Cellar
"Another of the deeper, richer wines in the range, the 2010 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane places more emphasis on power than elegance. There is plenty of depth in the glass, but at the same time, I find the aromas and flavors less well-defined than in the very best Hansel wines. The Russian River richness dominates over elegance. Hints of tar, smoke and game emerge on the powerful, virile finish. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018."
"I was quite taken with the wines I tasted with proprietor Stephen Hansel earlier this year. In particular, the 2010 Chardonnays have turned out far better than I had expected. A year prior, the wines were heavy and clunky. Today, they are complete and beautifully balanced to a degree that is surprising. According to Hansel, in 2010 the Pinots were less affected by the heat spikes that year than the Chardonnays, echoing a common refrain among growers. As was the case throughout California, 2011 was an exceptionally long and cold growing season. Hansel lost the fruit for the Meadows bottling, a casualty of the October rains. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it is impossible not to realize how exceedingly fairly priced these wines are in today’s market. Stylistically, the Hansel Chardonnays show the richness from stirring of the lees and the use of 40-60% new oak. The Pinots are made from fully destemmed fruit and also tend towards the bolder side of things. Hansel reported that sugars were about a degree lower in 2011, especially for the Chardonnays. Consequently, he gave the Chardonnays a little less new oak than normal, but at the same time increased lees stirring to give the wines a bit more body. Ripeness of the Pinots was more consistent across the two vintages." (04/13) - 91PtsAntonio Galloni - Vinous