2012 Varner "Bee Block" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1165066 95 points Antonio Galloni

 Texture takes center stage in the 2012 Chardonnay Bee Block. Lemon oil, white flowers, slate and mint are some of the many notes that blossom in the glass, but it is the wine's silkiness, length and exceptional overall balance that truly elevate the Bee Block to rarified heights among California's most important Chardonnays. The Bee Block is always the most lifted, floral and citrus-driven Chardonnay in the Varner range.  (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. Every wine comes from the Spring Ridge Vineyard, which is located just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Portola Valley. The grapes are dry-farmed and left to struggle for success without fertilizers or insecticides. The Bee Block is the largest of the Spring Ridge blocks at 3.5 acres. It boasts the youngest vines, a massale selection from the Home Block, at 25 years, and the only ones not planted on their own roots. The sedimentary rock is deepest here.

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Price: $47.99

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By: Melissa Smith |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/17/2014  | Send Email
My favorite of the Varner offerings every year, there is so much to this wine! Elegant, expressive, and with a distinctive waxy texture. This will continue to age and evolve into an incredible wine. Very cellar worthy.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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