Hanzell Pinot Noir 2010
Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
Bright red fruit aromas of ripe cherry and raspberry combine with the essence of orange peel to give a lively initial impression while pipe tobacco, anise and an aroma reminiscent of potter's clay provide a savory and earthy compliment. Concentrated flavors of cherry, cedar, anise and baking spice are long and rich on the palate. Vibrant interplay between the acidity and the tannins give the structure a wonderfully mouthwatering and refreshing quality. The clarity and intensity of flavor combined with the inherent structure will ensure many years of enjoyment and richly reward those with the patience to cellar. Decanting one to two hours before serving is recommended.
Wine Enthusiast - "This Pinot is too tart and tannic to drink now, though it has great potential. You have to search for the fruit, but it's there, in deeply hidden layers of cherries and red currants. Dry and stubborn now, but don't give up. It will reward cellaring for a minimum of six years.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright, moderately saturated medium red. Strawberry and raspberry fruit aromas are complicated by minerals, rose petal, spices and herbs. Quite dry and uncompromising on the palate, but with excellent cut to the rather delicate flavors of strawberry, raspberry and spices. Quite restrained today and not a fleshy style of pinot, but this is subtly intense and firmly built. The rose petal quality returns on the juicy, salty aftertaste."
Industrialist James D. Zellerbach acquired the 200 acre Hanzell estate on the Mayacamas slopes above the town of Sonoma in 1948, and in 1952 he planted 2 acres of Pinot Noir and 4 acres of Chardonnay on the site. The Ambassador's ambition was to create a small vineyard and winery dedicated to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Zellerbachs created the first vintage in 1957 and named their winery Hanzell, a contraction of Mrs. Hana Zellerbach's name.
Zellerbach hired Ralph Bradford Webb in 1956 to be his winemaker and Webb would be integral to the winemaking for the first two decades of Hanzell. Webb introduced four significant advances in enology that would subsequently be adopted by many other wineries, predicating consistency and quality for the entire industry -temperature-controlled fermentation, the use of French Oak barrels, the practice of "blanketing" young wines in tank with inert gas and the practice of induced malolactic fermentation.
The original 6 acre vineyard has grown to 42 acres today, allowing Hanzell to produce 6,000 cases annually: three-quarters Chardonnay and one-quarter Pinot Noir, retaining its identity as a very small winery dedicated to making the Burgundian varietals at the Grand Cru level. Through five decades, Hanzell has pursued empirical winemaking and established traditions on which great cellar-worthy winemaking is predicated. View all Hanzell Vineyards Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about half as much wine as its northeasterly neighbor. Because of its vast size, however, Sonoma is able to achieve far more diversity within its borders, which include sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid-back and down-to-earth, but the wines are serious and well-made, ranging in style from subtle and elegant to rich and powerful. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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