(one-third barrel-fermented): Pale straw-yellow. Aromas of apple, pear and citrus zest complemented by vanillin oak. Spicy, dense and concentrated, with harmonious acidity and solid underlying minerality giving shape to the apple and lemon fruit flavors. At once gripping and restrained on the finish, with citrus and spice flavors leaving the palate feeling refreshed. Sexy Chardonnay with aging potential. (ST)
The vineyard is in Sonoma Valley, not exactly prime Chardonnnay country, but Hanzell manages to produce one of most ageable Chardonnay's in California. The 2011 is rich and ripe in oranges, apricots and pears. Drink this beautiful wine now through 2019.
The light gold-colored 2011 Chardonnay Estate offers a gorgeous nose of white currants, quince, honeysuckle, crushed rocks and flowers. With medium to full body, terrific acidity, wonderful freshness and purity, and a long finish, it is further confirmation of the extraordinary history this winery has had since it was founded in 1953 by Ambassador Zellerbach. Drink this 2011 Estate over the next 10 years. (RP)
Ambassador James Zellerbach began planting Hanzell’s Sonoma hillside estate in 1953. The venerable old vines from that initial planting account for seven percent of the chardonnay in this bottling, with the balance coming mostly from vines planted in the 1970s. The cool 2011 vintage shows up as beam of acidity cutting through the center of the wine, while Hanzell’s signature richness can be felt in the lemon-curd fatness of its texture. It’s a Chardonnay for pan-seared diver scallops.
Fresh and vibrant, building in intensity while working within a tight frame of lemon-citrus, green apple, spice and honeydew melon characteristics. Ends with a light dash of toasty oak. Best from 2015 through 2022. (JL, Web-2014)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)