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2003 Varner Chardonnay Amphitheater Block Santa Cruz Mountains (750ml)
Producer: Varner Wine varnerwine.com
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains - California - United States (AVA)
Type: white
Varietal: Chardonnay
Maturity: Drink
Rating: n/a
Est. Price: n/a
Related Ratings:
rated (2006 vintage, 750ml bottle) : July 1, 2008 , Cakebread Cellars Tasting Notes
"Jim Varner's "Amphitheater Block" comes from 25-year-old vines located in a two-acre, bowl-shaped slope in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The long 2006 growing season helped the sugars and flavors really stay in balance, making the 2006 a bitter richer and more full-bodied than the 2005. Lemon zest and minerals dominate the nose and palate. This is a refreshing chardonnay with a slight buttery hint on the finish. "
rated (2012 vintage, 750ml bottle) : July 9, 2014 , The Wine Advocate erobertparker.com
94 points "Honey, lemon peel, hazelnut, spices and savory herbs meld together in Varner's 2012 Chardonnay Amphitheater Block, a wine that adds considerable focus and energy to the classic Santa Cruz structure that is such a distinctive signature here. Today the 2012 is striking, but it will be even better in a few years, once there is a bit more flavor development. These own rooted vines planted with a derivative of the Wente clone often yield Chardonnays loaded with personality. That is once again the case in 2012." Best 2016-2022
rated (2013 vintage, 750ml bottle) : July 19, 2015 , Antonio Galloni (WS)
95 points " Varner's Chardonnay Amphitheater Block is rich, ample and super-expressive. Lemon peel, almonds, chamomile, earthiness, dried apricot and sage meld together effortlessly. The 2013 Amphitheater is a classic Varner Chardonnay built on phenolic intensity and plenty of savory/floral notes that add nuance, while the fruit is pushed a bit into the background. Bob and Jim Varner have turned out another magnificent set of wines at Varner and Neely. Vintage 2013 appears to have favored the Chardonnays - which are truly superb - over the Pinots. The Varners describe 2013 as a year with vine stress because of the drought, but add that there were no heat spikes or other weather shocks. As always, the Varner Chardonnays are built on breadth, power and a sense of phenolic intensity that is one of the signatures of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Chardonnays see only about eight months in barrel and are bottled in July, but then not released for almost another year. P"