Must-Try Wine of the Week: 2011 Hanzell “Sebella” Sonoma Valley Chardonnay

Hanzell is California’s first “boutique” wine estate, with vines dating to 1953. Sebella is the companion to Hanzell Estate Chardonnay that is more age-worthy, and a standard among California chardonnays. Made from younger vineyard blocks, Sebella offers a more forward and youthful fruit expression. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then racked to seasoned French oak barrels where it finishes fermentation and ages sur lie for 6 months.

It is a remarkably complex wine that offers an array of aromas that include apple, mango, lemon, vanilla, cut flowers, and ocean air. The pleasing flavors of lemon, lime, green apple, and white peach lead to a lemon-drop finish exhibiting racy acidity. This crisp and refreshing drink will surely please those who relish chardonnay not overwrought with oak. A perfect aperitif with a variety of cheeses including Brie, teleme, Gouda, or Monterey Jack, or as a main course accompaniment to grilled mahi-mahi with preserved lemon butter. This special wine is available locally for about $36, at,,, and The 2012 vintage has just been released and is equally desirable.

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