2004 Hanzell Sonoma Valley Chardonnay
*Editors' Choice* Massive, complex, with amazing depth, an opulent, voluptuous wine of tremendous power and authority. It's so beautiful now, you almost hesitate to cellar it, but these Hanzell Chards are built for the long haul. Positively volcanic in tropical fruit and toasty new oak, with a honeyed, caramel finish. Absolutely stunning.
Wine & Spirits
The Hanzell Vineyard, 800 feet up the Mayacamas Mountains above the town of Sonoma, has a direct view to the San Pablo Bay. It's a prime spot for Chardonnay, as this '04 attests, a wine full of supple pear flavors that drive the initial aromas and the finish. Oak supports that fruit, in a refined structure that brings scents of beeswax and almond tart. An antique style of Chardonnay to cellar or to serve with poulet de Bresse.
Shows terrific aromas, serving up a beam of citrus infused pear, apple and melon fruit, enlivened by firm acidity. The finish sails on, revealing a tight band of fruit. Very impressive. This is a wine with a track record for aging. (JL)
Honey and grapefruit, typical markers for Hanzell's Chardonnay, are prominent at first, but then behind these are compelling characters of pastry shell (baked butter and flour), a delicate toast character from the barrels, almonds, milk and bread dough. A full, round presence in the mouth is supported by acidity that saves the broad and rich texture from being cloying.