2010 Neely "Holly's Cuvee- Spring Ridge Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1109409 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Chardonnay Holly’s Cuvee is a beautiful, finessed wine made from the three sites at Varner: Amphitheater, Home and Bee Blocks. Nothing in particular stands out, rather this is a Chardonnay that impresses for its overall balance. In 2010, the backbone of the Holly’s is the Bee Block, and that is the Varner wine the Holly’s most resembles. The integration of rich Chardonnay fruit, oak and structure is fabulous. This is a great Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. Brothers Bob and Jim Varner craft the Neely wines from the same Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards that inform their own Varner label.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

Neely is a label from Bob and Jim Varner, whose namesake label is one of K&L's favorites. The Varners' wines deftly illustrate that the Santa Cruz Mountains are capable of producing Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that are on the short list of the finest in California. The grapes are sourced from individual parcels of the Spring Ridge Vineyard, which the Varners planted in Portola Valley in the early 1980s. The wines are crafted in a style which is classic and elegant yet substantial and age-worthy.

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Price: $44.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2