Quality, not quantity, reigns, even in their new second label “Sebella” Chardonnay, which winemaker Michael McNeill crafted to be enjoyed in its youth (while your Hanzell Estate Chardonnay gracefully ages in the cellar). As with every Hanzell wine, fruit came exclusively from the estate vineyard, the oldest Pinot and Chardonnay vineyard in California. Spreading across 42 acres in the Mayacamas Mountains, the property is composed exclusively of Red Hill Series soils, which contain only trace amounts of organic material to naturally restrict growth and dramatically reduce vine yields. Young and fresh, yes, but the 2014 also possesses real oomph.
Few wineries can boast that they have Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones named after their winery, but then Hanzell's viticultural legacy is sizable
In 1948, Captain of Industry James David Zellerbach was tasked by President Truman to go to Europe to show off their new "Marshall Plan." During his travels, Zellerbach explored Burgundy's domaines in depth. He soon committed himself to "produce wines equal to the best in the world" at his Sonoma property. He gave his now 200 acres on hillside land overlooking Sonoma the name Hanzell Vineyards - a combination of his wife's first name, Hana, with his family name Zellerbach.
Since its first vintage from six hillside acres in 1957, Hanzell's mission has been to create the California equivalent of the Grand Crus of Burgundy. Today, Alexander de Brye still favors the tenants of single vineyard, super small lot winemaking and commitment to putting the vineyard first which pays dividends in the elegance and longevity of these legendary wines.