Hanzell Chardonnay Sonoma Valley in Country Life

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January 21st 2008

The January 10th issue of Country Life puts Hanzell Chardonnay Sonoma Valley at No. 25 of its 100 wines to try before you die.

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Amelia Pinsent writes: “I was over the moon when I discovered that this wine is now available in the UK. It’s not your typical Californian Chardonnay, being more classically Burgundian in style. It’s definitely a wine for laying down. The vines were planted in 1953, with the first vintage being made in 1957 – old vines are key here. The vineyards are high above San Francisco, and only 3,000 cases are made per year – a tiny production. It’s all hand-picked and hand-sorted fruit, which makes for very high quality. The 2005 was a lovely warm vintage and is a beautifully proportioned wine with incredible elegance – for me, this is America’s finest export. Alexander de Brye, the owner, recommends drinking it with lobster, and I couldn’t think of a better food and wine matching. The 2005 is available though Goedhuis & Co for £275 per case in bond.”

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Wow – this is properly delicious, much more akin to a great bottle of Puligny Montrachet. It has wonderful complexity and no huge hit of alcohol, just lovely harmonious nutty, vanilla and spicy fruit. Really very classy with a long finish, for sure a wine which Mrs C will get very enthusiastic about.
Julian