2009 Varner "Bee Block" Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnay SKU #1072170


RP 96
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Tasting Notes

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Chardonnay Bee Block is just 20 feet from the Amphitheater Block, but here the exposure turns east. The Bee Block is the most overt of these 2009 Chardonnays from Varner. Here the fruit moves toward the tropical end of the spectrum, perhaps owing to a richer layer of topsoil. Nevertheless, this is the closest wine to what readers are likely to identify as California Chardonnay. Once again, the integration of French oak is nothing short of masterful. The long, textured, finish is striking. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019." (08/11) The Bee Block Chardonnay comes from the Varner brothers' Spring Ridge vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and it's always a staff and customer favorite, sure to sell out quickly. In 2009 the fruit from this 3.5-acre, northeast-facing block was aged in 30% new French oak, creating a wonderfully aromatic wine with lemon, lemon zest and mineral scents and flavors.

Staff Reviews

  • Bryan Brick
    By: Bryan Brick
    K&L Staff Member
    If you receive our emails and/or newsletter and you haven’t yet heard of the wines from Varner you really have not been paying attention. We’ve championed their numerous brands (Varner, Spring Ridge, Neely and Foxglove) for years and have made many a friend with their wines along the way. Over the past few years even Robert Parker himself has gotten on the bandwagon giving the Varner wines consistently high scores. Don't miss out on the release of the 2009 single block Chardonnays, they won't last long. The 2009 Bee Block is the most intriguing of the three Varner Chards for me at this point. With a nose that comes off riper and more deeply set than the Home Block, with hidden layers of apricot, pumpkin pie spice, mango and challah, this tricked me; I thought it was going to be so much bigger and open than it actually was. I loved the restraint and power of this wine. The Bee Block this year is one to lay down or throw in a decanter, showing a very back-loaded richness and wild potential for 3-7 years to come with its mouth-coating texture and intense flavors of orange pith, honeysuckle, Asian pear and caramel.


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