2009 Varner Chardonnay Bee Block Spring Ridge Vineyard

Year: 2009
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 96
White Wine
Price :
$39.95
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"The 2009 Chardonnay Bee Block is just 20 feet from the Amphitheater Block, but here the exposure turns east. The Bee Block is the most overt of these 2009 Chardonnays from Varner. Here the fruit moves toward the tropical end of the spectrum, perhaps owing to a richer layer of topsoil. Nevertheless, this is the closest wine to what readers are likely to identify as California Chardonnay. Once again, the integration of French oak is nothing short of masterful. The long, textured, finish is striking. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

These three Chardonnays from Jim and Bob Varner are made from three blocks the Varners planted in the early 1980s in the Portola Valley. 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. The wines are fermented with natural yeasts and stay on their lees in barrel with no rackings until they are prepared for bottling. The 2009 Chardonnays are big, imposing wines. Nevertheless, my instincts say they will offer their best drinking before age 10 or so. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these majestic Chardonnays. Unfortunately the 2009 Pinots had just been bottled and I was not able to taste them." (WA)