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The wines of Hanzell Vineyards, Sonoma, California

18596 Lomita Avenue, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Tel: 001 707 996 3860
Website: www.hanzell.com  email: info@hanzell.com
UK agent: Vineyards Cellars (01488 681 613)

Hanzell is a small Sonoma winery producing around 2700 cases each vintage, and taking a hands-on ‘terroir’ approach. They make just Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from hillside vineyards (total area some 42 acres) at an elevation of 650–900 feet (roughly 200–300 metres). The vines aren’t ‘old vine’ yet, but they are getting there, with average ages of 25 and 36 years for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, respectively. The wines are pretty good. I would still say they are Californian in style, but in quite a restrained style, and with the potential to develop in the bottle.

Hanzell Chardonnay 2000 Sonoma
Toasty nutty nose showing ripe, rich fruit. The palate is intense, complex and nutty with a spicy edge and good acidity. Impressive and very expressive. Very good/excellent

Hanzell Chardonnay 1998 Sonoma
Quite an intense herby, nutty nose. The palate is boldly flavoured – not oak dominated, but showing rich herby fruit and lively acidity. Quite serious in a new world style. Elegant despite its size. Very good/excellent

Hanzell Pinot Noir 1998 Sonoma
600 cases made. Quite a complex forward nose showing tight, herby fruit with medicinal-like complexity. The palate is rich, ripe and herby with some complexity. Lovely. Very good/excellent

Hanzell Pinot Noir 1997 Sonoma
1100 cases made, which is the largest release yet of this wine. Soft but complex herby fruit dominates – cherries, spice and leathery notes evident. Quite rich and complex yet in a restrained style. Not a big wine but an attractive one. Very good+

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