2016 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay SKU #1345843

Price: $29.99

WE 94
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Hanzell utilizes young estate vine parcels for their Sebella bottling which will someday be included in their flagship Chardonnay. The style of this bottling celebrates the purity and focus of youthful fruit. The precise profile is allowed to shine by virtue of its vinification and barrel-aging in French oak, but without new wood or malolactic fermentation. As a second wine, Sebella is far from simple and its virtue shows most clearly on the persistence of finish which out-classes much more fleshy and obvious Chardonnay bottlings on the market. Winemaker's notes: "Lifted floral aromas of orange blossom and honeysuckle complement the pear, golden delicious apple, white peach, kumquat and pink grapefruit fruit aromas. The flavors on the palate echo the nose, with the addition of lemon zest, wet graphite and a slight tropical note. The entry on the palate is broad and rich, balanced by bright acidity."

Staff Reviews

  • Jeffrey Markavage
    By: Jeffrey Markavage
    K&L Staff Member
    The 2016 "Sebella" might be a little different compared to previous vintages. If you're used to Sebella having an unoaked style you might be thrown off slightly. The winemakers notes say stainless steel fermented and aged in neutral oak barrels but I definitely detect some oak imparted flavors/aromas. By no means is this overwhelming. I get notes of pear, wet stone and wild flower.
  • Christina Stanley
    By: Christina Stanley
    K&L Staff Member
    Hanzell is home to some of the oldest Chardonnay plantings in California, and the vineyards are Organically farmed as part of a larger integral ecosystem. Chickens, deer, orchards, you name it, they are most likely part of the Hanzell "Bio Farm." Their approach and care in the farming and winemaking process is evident from first sip of the Sebella Chardonnay, Hanzell's second label, crafted from the younger vines planted on the Estate. Crisp, aromatic and dry, this is a light to medium bodied Chardonnay that lacks nothing in complexity, but is unfussy and pure. The wine spends a short period in steel and neutral French oak, and the fruit sings, unadulterated.
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    A very deliberate, fresh, zesty, crisp style of Chard made without the use of new oak and without the wine going through malolactic fermentation (for those uninitiated, malolactic is typically what gives Chardonnay a rounder, creamier feel in the mouth—“buttery,” if you will). Made mostly from younger vines on Hanzell’s spectacular estate plus some parcels from other top growers on the Sonoma Coast, this is a fantastic value given Hanzell’s pedigree and the quality of the wine. Try with seafood like crab, scallops or moules marinières.
  • Joe Bruno
    By: Joe Bruno
    K&L Staff Member
    A clean and fresh chardonnay that will be sure to please many. On the nose, aromas of lemon zest, apricot, and nectarine aromas with a bouquet of white flowers. On the palate, this white wine expresses flavors of stone fruit once more, with red apple, Bosc pear, and yellow grapefruit notes additionally. It’s crisp and relatively light compared with most other California Chardonnays. This is in part to the vinification in stainless steel and neutral oak, and lack of malolactic fermentation. The end result is a zesty and refreshing white wine that is a nice option for those who desire a lighter and more food-friendly California chardonnay. Enjoy with various fish dishes like flounder or skate, or with light cheeses.
  • Stephanie Vidales
    By: Stephanie Vidales
    K&L Staff Member
    A year ago I went on the K&L Sonoma buy trip and Hanzell was my favorite property we visited. Sebella was the wine we were first poured and I absolutely loved it. The 2016 Sebella is just as vibrant and zesty as I remember previous vintages with key lime, mineral and bright acid. They used fruit from the younger vines on the Hanzell estate and some from other Sonoma growers. Only neutral oak is used and it does not go through malolactic fermentation. This is one of the best crisp style Chardonnays we have from California!


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