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2016 Varner "El Camino Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Chardonnay (Previously $25)

SKU #1519649 92 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Bob and Jim Varner's 2016 Chardonnay is terrific. Orchard fruit, white flowers, mint, tangerine oil and light tropical overtones infuse the 2016 with notable character. Los Alamos Chardonnays tend to be a bit more lifted, but there is plenty of depth here. Most of the wine was aged in large foudre, which further helps in retaining energy. (AG) Inner quote mark (9/2019)

91 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Lots of flinty minerality, crushed citrus, lime, and white flower notes emerge from the 2016 Chardonnay, which is racy and vibrant on the palate, with good acidity and a great finish. With a Burgundian styled sense of reduction and minerality, a tight, chiseled texture, and a great finish, it's a beautiful wine. Inner quote mark (10/2019)

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/7/2021 | Send Email
In my opinion, this is undoubtedly the finest Chardonnay value in our inventory, a single-vineyard wine made by one of the finest winemakers in the state. It's more than worthy of its original $25 price tag but offered here for 40% off! The Varners are famed for their Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays but have more recently shifted their focus to vineyards in the cool, windswept, coastal areas of Santa Barbara County. El Camino Vineyard is in the Los Alamos sub-region, long known as an area that can produce stunning, Burgundian inspired wines with wonderful freshness and minerality. These vines grow in very sandy loam soils on a northwest-facing slope. Block 4, the source for this wine, is planted to Clone 4 (Wente). The wine is fermented with wild/native yeast in a combination of French oak puncheons and stainless-steel tanks. The wine only partially goes through malo, so it retains a wonderful vibrancy and drive complemented by the subtle, nutty oak tones and saline minerals. Somewhat Chablis-like with its crunchy Golden Delicious apple, quince, ripe citrus, chopped almond, and seashell minerality in the long finish. Such a delicious and complex bottle of Chardonnay for a ludicrously low price. Taste it quick then grab a case, or just take my word for it, this is wonderful Chardonnay at a price that belies its quality.
Top Value!

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