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Hanzell Chardonnay 2005

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • WE96
  • RP92
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

As this was Michael Terrien's first vintage making the wine, he was focused on determining how Hanzell Chardonnay distinguishes itself in the company of other California Chardonnays.

Hanzell's recipe is unique: grapes are crushed before pressing, fermentation occurs in tank rather than barrel, new oak barrels are used only moderately, and malo-lactic fermentation is largely suppressed.

The winemaking is so traditional as to be, in an odd way, iconoclast and new. Hanzell recipe honors a lighter winemaking touch and permits clarity of expression. The wine is about place rather than ingredients; traditional, but intentional.

Glistening and bright with citrus peel (mostly grapefruit) and bread dough aromas of yeast and wet flour. Subtle flower aromas lift the pear and apple scent and the honeyed, oily richness that develops with bottle age is just beginning to emerge upon the wine's release.

"Few wineries in California can craft a Chard as rich, balanced and ageworthy as this. In its youth this '05 is flashy in lemondrop, pear and spicy anise, with a honeyed finish and crisp acidity. It's quite addictively brilliant, a wine whose lush harmony mesmerizes the palate. But Hanzell Chards invariably age well, and this is a wine you can dependably put into your cellar for 5, 10, 15 years, even longer, as it continues to evolve and become more limpid and minerally."
-Wine Enthusiast

Critical Acclaim

WE 96
Wine Enthusiast

RP 92
The Wine Advocate

WS 90
Wine Spectator

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Hanzell

Hanzell Vineyards

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Hanzell Vineyards, , California
Hanzell
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.

Champagne

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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, Champagne is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to be labeled ‘Champagne’ within the EU and many New World countries, a wine must originate in this northeastern region of France and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide. Well-drained limestone chalk soil defines much of the region, lending a mineral component to the wines. The climate here is marginal—ample acidity is a requirement for sparkling wine, so overripe grapes are to be avoided. Weather differences from year to year create significant variation between vintages, and in order to maintain a consistent house style, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled varietally, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, delicacy, and elegance, as well as bright and lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit, and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body, and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while one comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

LIM180201705_2005 Item# 93132

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