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2011 Varner Chardonnay Bee Block Santa Cruz Mountains (750ml)
Producer: Varner Wine varnerwine.com
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains - California - United States (AVA)
Type: white
Varietal: Chardonnay
Maturity: Hold/Drink
Rating: Outstanding
Est. Price: US$50.00
Tasting Notes:
rated: November 13, 2013 , Antonio Galloni (WS)
95 points "95 points Antonio Galloni The 2011 Chardonnay Bee Block has the structure and power of the Home, but shows a restraint in its fruit that is closer to the Amphitheater. In 2011, the Bee convinces for its overall balance, precision and sheer pedigree. This is another wine that will require 6-12 months in bottle, if not a little more than that. A recent bottle of the 2010 was stellar, and more than lived up to my praise from last year. All the best elements of the Varner house style come together here. (7/ 2013) K&L Notes At K&L, we are always HUGE fans of the Varner brothers' wines. These are carefully crafted, terroir-driven Chardonnays that drink well on release and also age very well. This bottling hails from the Bee Block at the Varners' Spring Ridge Vineyard, which features 24-year-old vines planted to a northeast-facing slope. The vines are dry-farmed and worked by hand with no insecticides. The wine is fermented on indigenous yeast and aged in 25% new, French (Bertranges & Troncais) oak. The cool 2011 vintage ripened grapes in a long growing season with low sugars, but fully ripe and developed flavors. This 2011 bottling has not yet been professionally reviewed, but the 2010 vintage garnered 95 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. Antonio Galloni wrote for Wine Advocate in August of 2011 on Varner's Chardonnays: "They are fairly large-scaled wines that at the same time retain considerable minerality and structure in a style that is distinctive of the Santa Cruz Mountains, but that stands apart from the lusher, oakier style of wine many people associate as typical of California Chardonnay... Readers should do whatever they can to taste these majestic Chardonnays." "