2012 Neely "Holly's Cuvée-Spring Ridge Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1165067 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of all three blocks (74% Bee Block, 11% Amphitheater and 15% Home Block), the 2012 Chardonnay Holly's Cuvee has awesome richness and depth in its full-bodied, concentrated and decadently styled profile. Giving up thrilling lemon curd, white peach, white flowers and hints of tangerine, it has a weighty, full-flavored and incredibly textured feel on the palate that never seems heavy or cumbersome in the least. Showing the most texture and richness in the lineup, yet with no loss of purity or focus, it has an upfront, supple feel and is a knockout bottle of Chardonnay to drink over the coming 4-6 years. 147 cases.  (10/2014)

93 points Vinous

 The 2012 Chardonnay Holly's Cuvee is beautifully lifted in the glass. Lemon, white flowers, pastry and smoke are some of the notes that inform this silky, gracious impeccable Chardonnay. Interestingly, the Holly's is made from a blend of three Chardonnays Bob and Jim Varner bottle under their own label, yet it is lighter in body and more floral than any of those wines. Today, the Holly's Cuvee is a bit tightly wound and inward, but its potential is both evident and significant. Hints of sage, rosemary and mint wrap around the supple, gracious finish.  (7/2014)

K&L Notes

If you've shopped K&L over the past few years, you probably know that the wines made by Bob and Jim Varner are not only among our favorites, but we think they are among the finest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs made in California. The pair make the Neely label in collaboration with the Neely family, but they use fruit from the same Portola Valley vineyard--Spring Ridge--that goes into their eponymous bottlings. The Holly's Cuvee blends fruit from all three blocks, though predominantly from the Bee Block, with small proportions of Amphitheater Block and Home Block. The 2012 vintage was extremely mild, allowing the terroir of each block to shine through. It's forward and expressive, like the other wines of the vintage.

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Price: $47.99
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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 (%): 14.6