2014 Varner "El Camino Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
Despite its very reasonable price, the 2014 Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard delivers serious intensity, richness and nuance. Broad, ample and phenolic, the 2015 exudes all the classic Varner signatures, structure being the most obvious of these. Yellow orchard fruit, mint, candied lemon, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes are front and center. This is one of the most singular Santa Barbara Chardonnays readers will come across. The style and palate weight is more than a little reminiscent of the wines the Varners made in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The 2014 was fermented in steel and aged in a combination of puncheon (25%) and steel, with blocked malo. This is a very serious Chardonnay for $25. (AG)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Showing the more forward, charming and textured style of the vintage, the 2014 Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard has pretty notes of citrus, leafy herbs, mint, and even basil, as well as a medium-bodied, elegant feel on the palate. Aged eight months in 25% new French oak (there's a touch of stainless steel in there as well), it's a terrific value that's ideal for drinking over the coming couple of years. (JD)
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.