Hanzell Vineyards Estate Chardonnay Sonoma Valley 2018

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Hanzell Vineyards Estate Chardonnay Sonoma Valley 2018
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Country USA
Region California
Appellation/Sub-Region Sonoma Valley
Grapes Chardonnay
Vineyard/Cellar Practices Conventional

Hanzell Vineyards was founded in 1952 by James D. Zellerbach. He was a wealthy financier, ambassador, and a member of La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, a group that has long pledged to promote the wines of Burgundy. As many will know, these unparalleled wines are based on two grapes, chardonnay and pinot noir. Zellerbach set out to craft wines in California based on the wines he loved from the famed French region. Such was his devotion to the project that he even modeled the winery after the renowned Clos du Vougeot, where many of the Confrérie tastings took place and whose wines undoubtedly held a special place in his heart alongside the already mythical wines of Romanée-Conti.

This chardonnay is harvested from multiple vineyards including the ambassador’s 1953 vineyard. Winemaker Michael McNeill allows a two-hour soak of the skins to extract flavor and complexity. Then the wine is fermented, 62% in stainless steel tanks and the rest in barrels; this latter portion had the lees stirred to draw out richness, and it underwent malolactic conversion. It was aged for a year in small French oak barrels. The profile here will range from lemon curd to baked stone fruit with some tropical notes. The texture is generous and full, with just enough citrus notes to carry through to the finish. While this wine will be enjoyed by those seeking a fruit-forward, traditionally styled chardonnay, it will also reward those who allow it to age and develop some secondary notes.