California has been on my mind since a recent trip there in late September. While there I tasted a number of interesting Chardonnays but I must say my new favorite, I came late to the party, is the Hanzell Vineyards Chardonnay that I tasted at the Frederick Wildman tasting last month. This winery from Sonoma was first on my radar while working at Maslow 6 wine shop in 2010. The owners seemed partial to this wine and I never knew why. Now I do.
It had beautiful aromas and flavors that you would expect of Chardonnay, apples and pears, creamy, buttery notes but it also had minerality and the toasty, nutty, yeasty flavors that I so enjoy. I found the use of oak to be quite balanced as well. It was long and harmonious in the mouth with a beautiful finish. I was also very happy to meet one of the most courtly fellows in the wine industry that day, Tony Didio.
Speaking of California, while out there at Laguna Seca, I had the chance to catch up with David Glancy of the San Francisco Wine School.
I know David from the Society of Wine Educators conferences. David, a Master Sommelier (MS) has launched an online wine school which awards a California Wine Appellation Specialist certificate. I am considering enrolling next year but first I must finish my French Wine Scholar program. Having taken numerous classes with David through the years, I am sure his online class with be both informative and fun. I highly recommend it.