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Only available in magnum, the 2011 Chardonnay Ambassador’s 1953 Vineyard is an homage to Ambassador Zellerbach, and the fruit for this cuvee comes from the original two acres of Chardonnay first planted by him in 1953. Once known as the Old Wente clone, but propagated as the Hanzell clone (as it’s grafted on St. George rootstock), this rare Chardonnay is a treat to taste. It offers a liqueur of wet rocks intermixed with citrus oil in a stylish, restrained, but authoritative style. Intense but elegant, this beauty is unlike any other California Chardonnay, and that’s what makes it so singular as well as special. How long it will live is debatable, but even in a challenging vintage such as 2011, it has twenty or more years of life ahead of it.
Ambassador James D. Zellerbach founded Hanzell Vineyards in 1953 with a vision to create wines that could compete on the world stage. Named after his wife Hana, Hanzell sits at the southern toe of the Mayacamas mountain range overlooking the south-western end of Sonoma Valley and San Pablo Bay.
After extensive time spent in Burgundy, Zellerbach returned inspired and educated by the region’s wines and grapes—Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He then planted these two varieties at a time when there were less than a few hundred acres of each planted in North America.
Since 1975, Hanzell has been solely owned by the de Brye family, who is dedicated to the preservation of tradition with a progressive and holistic approach which will ensure the sustainability for generations to come.