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2015 Hanzell "Estate" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $65)

SKU #1442975 94 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Showing beautifully, the 2015 Chardonnay offers a touch of maturity in its caramelized peach, pineapple, flora, and toasted bread-like aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied and beautifully textured on the palate, it has plenty of fruit, a solid spine of acidity, and a clean, mineral-laced finish. This is just a beautiful Chardonnay from Sonoma that's drinking at point today yet will evolve nicely for another 5-7 years. Inner quote mark (12/2020)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2015 Chardonnay is a little reticent to begin, slowing unfurling to reveal lemon tart, apple pie and nectarine notions with hints of honeyed toast, cashews and orange blossoms. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing and elegantly styled with many citrus and stone fruit layers accented by savory suggestions and a satiny texture, finishing long and mineral laced. (LPB) 93+ Inner quote mark (6/2018)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark There's a note of barrel influence on the nose, a heartiness of oak that weaves within the greater whole as the wine develops. Smooth, rounded richness, a mix of baked apple and hazelnut, provide a textured balance of flavor within lovely highlights of lemongrass and ginger. (VB) Inner quote mark (8/2018)

90 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Juicy loquat meets smoky oak flavors in this bold and spicy Chardonnay. The oak brings a touch of vanilla and bitter spice, the wine structured for aging. Inner quote mark (10/2018)

K&L Notes

K&L Notes: There are few more historic wine estates in California than Hanzell. Perched commandingly on the western flanks of the Mayacamas mountain range, the winery was founded by Ambassador James Zellerback in 1953. He planted the estate to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay based on his inspiration from the time he spent in Burgundy. Today the estate is ably managed by winemaking veteran Jason Jardine. His resumé includes winemaking roles at such great estates as Flowers, Rhys Vineyards, Clos Du Val, and Domaine Serene, among others. In all, they've now been farming the estate for over six decades. As stewards of the land, they employ ethical, social, and ecological responsibility to ensure the sustainability of the place for generations to come, weaving in bio-dynamic principles as well as science-based farm management systems.


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Product Reviews:

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/12/2021 | Send Email
Bravo to my colleague, Kaj Stromer, for scoring a super price on this iconic Chardonnay. One of my personal favorite properties in all of Sonoma, and one with a spectacular history. This idyllic hilltop vineyard over looking the town of Sonoma is home to some of oldest Chardonnay (and Pinot Noir) vines in the state, planted in 1953. On first look this site might seem quite warm for these Burgundian varietals and yet standing on the balcony of the historic winery building you can look right out over the Ambassador's Block, south of Sonoma Mountain to San Pablo Bay and the cold Pacific beyond. The wines from here have a magisterial quality, they're powerful and age worthy but at the same time elegant and refined. This wine is in a perfect drinking window now, the oak wonderfully integrated, the mélange of flavors are beautifully woven together. A freshness and clarity is brought to the finish by the mineral infused acidity like a cool ocean breeze spritzing it with salt spray. A beautiful, pedigreed wine made all the more attractive by this special low price!

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/1/2021 | Send Email
I visited the estate back in the spring of 2018 and I must admit it was an eye-opening experience. The view from the top of the mountain was breathtaking, but the sight of moveable chicken coops in the vineyards really caught our attention. With a keen focus on sustainability and being stewards of the land, the team at Hanzell pay excruciating detail to the health of their vineyards. This ultimately is translated into the glorious wine in the bottle. The Chardonnay is harvested from vines with an average age of 35+ years. It is fermented primarily in stainless steel with about a third in barrel. The barrel fermented portion undergoes full malolactic fermentation. The wine is then aged one year in 60-gallon French oak casks. The result is a wine that combines both intensity and freshness with sense of luxury and pedigree. We now have the rare opportunity to offer this back vintage "grand cru" at a very special "Insider Advantage" price for the first time ever!

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