2016 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1345843 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Stainless-steel fermented and aged in neutral French oak, this well-made wine offers crisp acidity and supportive oak, with highlights of fennel, green apple and wet stone. Its grainy texture is layered and complex while also being deliciously drinkable now. *Editors' Choice* (VB)  (8/2018)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Chardonnay Sebella opens with ripe apples, fresh peaches and grapefruit scents with touches of nutmeg and baking bread. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers uncomplicated apple and stone fruit flavors with appealing freshness and a savory finish. (LPB)  (6/2018)

Wine Spectator

 Firm green apple, citrus and Bosc pear flavors give this a snappy, juicy core that springs alive on the finish. (JL, Web only-2018)

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."

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Price: $24.99

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Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/12/2018 | Send Email
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.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/1/2018 | Send Email
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.

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/27/2018 | Send Email
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.

Staff Image By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/23/2018 | Send Email
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!

Additional Information:



- 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.

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.


- 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.
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 (%): 13.8