For over fifty years, Hanzell Vineyards has grown, produced and bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which have the unique distinction of being produced solely from our estate-grown fruit since 1961. These wines have been made by people, both past and present, who all have given the best of themselves to realize this shared dream “To produce wine equal to the finest in the world”. Absolute commitment to these ten words requires many difficult decisions be made throughout the winegrowing year. By nature and design, we set very low crop levels in all of our vineyards and then follow the time-tested traditions that are well established and understood to cultivate greatness in our fruit. We farm all of our estate vineyards with these same exacting standards. Our average vine age is over thirty years old. When we plant new vineyards it is not for ten to fifteen years as the rule of thumb now in viticulture, but for fifty to sixty years producing the highest quality fruit. At harvest, we hand sort and hand pick the fruit, sorting again cluster by cluster as it comes into the winery. After the wine in barrel has aged appropriately, we come together to taste each and every barrel lot; with the Winemaker finalizing the blend for each wine.
The grapes for Hanzell Estate Chardonnay are sourced from de Brye, Zellerbach, and Ambassador’s 1953 Vineyards, average vine age 34 years, Red Hill Series and volcanic clay-loam soils. Two hours minimum juice and skin contact prior to pressing, fermented in 75% stainless steel and 25% barrel, 25% malolactic fermentation (the barrel portion). Aged for one year in 60-gallon French oak barrels.
Aromas of lemon verbena, honeysuckle, a hint of hazelnut are carried by the bright citrus notes of pink grapefruit, lime and Meyer lemon. With a creamy, yet light texture, flavors of tangerine, pink grapefruit, pear, thyme and a saline character linger on the palate through a long and bright finish.