2010 Varner "Home Block" Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
94+ points. Varner’s 2010 Chardonnay Home Block is considerably fresher than the Amphitheater. Lemon, white peaches, ash and crushed rocks are all layered into this energetic, vibrant Chardonnay. This too, is a large-scaled wine, but the Home Block seems to have handled the challenges of the year a bit more gracefully than the Amphitheater. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020. Brothers Jim and Bob Varner describe 2010 as a cold year with two heat spikes that were shorter and less dramatic than in other parts of California. It was a long growing season, and the fruit came in 2-3 weeks later than normal. As always, the Varner and Neely wines were fermented in barrel, with native yeasts, natural fermentation and minimal handling. These broad-shouldered Chardonnays and deep, resonant Pinots remain some of the most compelling wines being made in California.
San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines of 2012: "The Varner brothers' 30-year-old, own-rooted block near Portola Valley found a tension-filled side in 2010, with mineral crunch and a savory side: wheat berry, chervil, lemon confit and Anjou pear. Cellar it for best effect." At K&L, we are always HUGE fans of the Varner brothers' wines, especially from this, their flagship label. These are carefully crafted, terroir-driven wines that drink well on release and age well too. This comes from the two-acre Home Block at the Varners' Spring Ridge Vineyard, an east-facing slope planted with 30-year-old, own-rooted vines. K&L Domestic buyer Bryan Brick describes the 2010 has having a pretty, tropical citrus nose, with almond paste, peach pit and rosewater scents. The most feminine of the three wines, it has a bright, minerraly entry, then unfolding tangerine fruit, crushed stone laced with oak, and a soft, earthy finish that lingers. A very nice wine that's sure to sell out. Act fast.