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Hanzell Chardonnay Sonoma Valley in Country Life


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

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.”


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.