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