2009 Zepaltas, Chardonnay “Hanzell Vineyard” Sonoma Valley.
Ryan Zepaltas, winemaker at Siduri for many years, has been selected by the family that owns Hanzell to receive grapes from their historic vineyard in Sonoma Valley and he has done a fantastic wine from a block of old Wente clone that was planted in 1977. This tiny production hand crafted Chardonnay is as good as any Chard I’ve tried from this fabled site and honestly it is one of my top Chards of the year, and I think it is a stunning effort by Zepaltas. The Zepaltas wines are getting a lot of attention these days, especially the Pinot Noirs, and deservingly so, but his Chardonnay’s are lovely wines that sell out almost as fast. The 2009 Hanzell Chardonnay starts with lemon, kiwi and yellow peach fruit with citrus flowers, hazelnuts and subtle smoke and brioche leading to a balanced and nervy palate of apple, lemon curd and nectarine with great depth and fullness, though firmly held together with acidity and mineral tones. Flashes of honey, orange marmalade and wet stones add interest and the finish is bright with a touch of cream and vanilla spice, plus green apple and tropical fruit.
($42 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

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