2012 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1141106 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 This was aged in used French barrels for several months, just enough to give it a rich edge of soft butter and honey. The basic fruit flavors are pure, ripe and delicious, with suggesting notes of tangerine and mango, brightened by a vibrant thread of lime juice.  (12/ 2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Chardonnay Sebella is Hanzell’s answer to Chablis, a white made from younger vines, fermented in stainless steel and aged in neutral oak. It exhibits crisp citrus, wet steel-like minerality, and a medium-bodied, fresh, pure, lively style. Drink it over the next 2-3 years.  (12/ 2013)

Wine Spectator

 Pure, clean and flavorful, with ripe pear, apple, white peach, melon and spicy-floral overtones. Drink now through 2018. (Web Only-2014)

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. From the winery: "Gorgeous floral aromas of jasmine, honeysuckle and citrus blossoms give way to scents of apple skin, lemon verbena, tangerine and cake batter. The flavors of green apple, Meyer lemon and wet stone minerality are long and true to the nose. The bright acidity belies the richness on the palate and gives striking purity to the flavors."

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Price: $34.99

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By: Jeff Garneau |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 5/1/2014  | Send Email
One of the most impressive California Chardonnays I have enjoyed in a very long time. The perfect wine for those seeking an alternative to the popular "oaky/buttery" style which characterizes so much domestic Chardonnay. Aging in neutral oak adds texture but not flavor, perfectly complementing the citrus and mineral-driven character of the fruit. What a joy to drink!

By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/16/2014  | Send Email
The top notch Hanzell Sebella would make a great ringer in a Puligny-Montrachet tasting. I found this medium to light bodied Chardonnay to have fantastic lime like raciness and excellent length. What a good bottle!

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5