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2003 Hanzell - Pinot Noir Ambassador's 1953 Vineyard Pinot Noir - USA - California - Sonoma - Sonoma Valley - Red

USA - California - Sonoma - Sonoma Valley

Red Pinot Noir
Producer Notes

With its deep historical roots in Sonoma, Hanzell is a California wine pioneer. Its story begins in 1948, when Ambassador James D. Zellerbach acquired 200 acres in the Mayacamas Mountains north of the Sonoma Plaza. A 6-acre vineyard was planted in 1953, and the first vintage was released in 1957. This small plot is now the oldest Pinot Noir vineyard in the US, though the total vineyard has grown... More »

VF ...
Drink Dates
VF: 2009-2020

VF ...
Source Vinfolio
Issue 83

If there ever was a single wine that embraced the heritage of a vineyard in California tracing its lineage of the few surviving vines back to Burgundy in the 1800s and is isolated as a monopole, it is the small 4 acre block planted by Ambassador Zellerbach in 1953 with provenance from To-Kalon (1953), Chalone (1946), Martin Ray (1943), Paul Masson (1890) and originally Burgundy. It is important to note that only in exceptional vintages this block is kept separate. I tasted recently with winemaker Michael Terrien at the winery and he noted the bottle had been opened 4 hours previously. The supply is incredibly limited, typically released to only the best restaurants in America with brutally tight allocation. It took extraordinary effort from everyone involved to bring this wine to Vinfolio. We reserve the right to limit. <br><br/> Aromas of buttered blueberry, black cherry stones with rich slate and earth elements. Picks up some bright citrus, developing floral (rose) and mineral hints in nose. The palate is smooth with integrated cherry, plum and graphite. There is an ethereal "weight" here; tough to quantify except possibly attribute to the age of the vines and the corresponding miniscule yield. Call it communing with an "old soul." A long 30 second finish is found. A miniscule amount is available. Pinot for the purist.

Author Rudy C
Site / Blog   Trust Rating
Tasted On 12/16/2006

This is a special bottle. Tasted at winery and it was good but was so well structured I know it is going to be a gem. Do not drink till 2010 at least. These grapes are fom the oldest Pinot vines in all of California. Planted in 1953!

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A flawed bottle may be affected by cork taint, heat (maderized), oxidation, or excessive sulfur. Additionally, some people consider wines tainted by Brettanomyces (Brett), a non-spore forming genus of yeast, a flaw although there is much controversy surrounding the subject.
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