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Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

Hanzell Hanzell 1995 Sonoma Valley Chardonnay ($31.99)
Although $32 is well above my usual threshold of pain for everyday wine, and doubly so for California Chardonnay, I love Hanzell's product and make a conscious choice to break the budget when each new vintage arrives. It's a clear, bright gold color, with delicious scents of apples, pears and discreet oak. Big, rich and full flavors, apple fruit, tart acidity and a firm texture and warmth. Oak is a little more evident than in last year's vintage, it seems, and it's a bit awkward in its youth. Still, all the elements are present, and I'm eager to try it again in a year's time. (Sept. 10, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: Perfect with sea bass crusted with chopped pine nuts and pan-fried, an entree based on a recipe from Pierre Franey and Brian Miller's The Seafood Cookbook and explicitly chosen to go with this wine.

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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