First winery on day two in Sonoma was Donelan Family Wines in Santa Rosa with Meredith. First up was the Nancie Chardonnay which is named after Tripp and Cushing's grandmother. It is made up of 100% Chardonnay from four vineyards with Sonoma County. The first two are from on top of Sonoma Mountain, then the third is from 30+ year old vines in the Russian River Valley and the last is from Green Valley. Aged for 10 months in 20% new French oak. 1,947 cases produced.
Medium to light golden yellow. Creamy nose with lemon curd, red apples, vanilla beans and a touch of stoniness in the finish. Medium plus acidity (7/10) with a lean medium body. Crisp attack on the palate with some yellow tree and stone fruits and a little bit of a creamy texture. A touch sharp in the medium plus finish. Drink till 2022.
$$ - Tasted at the winery. Retail price is $48.00. — 3 months ago
Founded by Arthur "Jay" Fritz who built a subterranean facility high upon a hill in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. Aromas of tropical fruits and citrus notes. On the palate flavors of cooked apples, pears and lemon meringue. Medium+ lively, acidity and a fresh and clean ending with a toasty oak character. finish. Drink now. — 10 days ago
Ok, I love this wine. Not for everyone as attested to by the overall score, but so unique. A multi-vintage solera blend of Heintz Chard. Minerality and a mouthwatering acidity. Did I mention unique? Got better over four nights with air. From Kevin Kelly of Salinia and the Natural Process Alliance (NPA). — 12 days ago
Second winery on day two in Sonoma was Hanzell Vineyards with Whitney. Third wine was the Hanzell Chardonnay, which is their flagship Chardonnay bottling. All the fruit comes from five of their estate vineyards with an average age of 29 years; de Brye, Zellerbach, Day, Ramos and Ambassador's 1953 vineyards. This bottling is fermented in a mix of stainless steel (62%) and new French oak barrel (38%), the later goes through lee stirring for two months. Aged for a total of twelve months in neutral French oak with all barrel fermentation going through malolactic.
Medium to medium plus lemon yellow with a slight golden hue. Lovely Chardonnay nose with layers of stone, tree and tropical fruits followed by an interesting note of herbal tea like chamomile and honeysuckle. A touch of citrus zest and brioche. Some more mouthwatering acidity on this bottling from Hanzell (7/10) with a medium plus body. Rich palate with a touch of butter, citrus, honeysuckle and some white stone fruits. A nice creamy mouthfeel with a long, lingering finish. Drink till 2032. (93+)
$$$ - Tasted at the winery. Retail price is $78.00. — 2 months ago
My favorite of Mark’s single-vineyard chards, the 2016 Lauren is still a bit too young, I think. Intense aromas of lemon peel, hints of vanilla, and maybe a hint of clove, the palate is rich, intense, but just a bit unfocused. I suspect another 1-2 years in bottle, and this wine is going to merit a much higher score. Still an awesome wine on a warm Michigan summer’s eve... — 15 days ago
Second winery on day two in Sonoma was Hanzell Vineyards with Whitney. First up was the Sebella Chardonnay Winemakers Selection, which is a special bottling that differs from their regular Sebella bottling found in distribution. All the fruit used in this bottling is from their estate vineyards and made up of the younger vines (planted between 1996 and 2003). Aged for around 6 months in neutral oak with no malolactic fermentation.
Bright medium yellow. Lighter fruits on the nose with elements of stone fruits, and a touch citrus as well as some green apples and honeysuckle. Medium plus acidity (7/10) and medium bodied. Solid minerality throughout the palate with some stone fruits, lemon, white flowers and a little touch of spice. Lingering finish. Drink till 2027.
$$ - Tasted at the winery. Retail price is $36.00. — 2 months ago
Second winery on day two in Sonoma was Hanzell Vineyards with Whitney. Second wine was the Hanzell Farm Chardonnay The Ramos Selection, which is a part of their Farm Series. All the fruit used in this bottling is from the Ramos Vineyard Block. Aged for around nine months in neutral oak with no malolactic fermentation.
Intense lemon yellow. Powerful nose with tons of lemon and lime zest followed up by some tropical fruit nuances, honeysuckle, lychees and some wet gravel. Mouthwatering acidity (7/10) and medium bodied. Layered palate with an attack of orange marmalade, green apples, chalky minerality, stone fruits and tanginess throughout. Long and lingering finish. Drink till 2028.
$$$ - Tasted at the winery. Retail price is $68.00. — 2 months ago
The cork issues not withstanding (the restaurant needs to enbrace the use of the ah so for older bottles), the wine was fantastic. Incredible honeyed lemon on the nose, a rich, full bodied palate with layers of lemon, butter, vanilla, and candied lemon rind. Lingering finish. 16 years and still going strong... — 13 days ago