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|Drinking Windows and Values|
|Drinking window: Drink between 2004 and 2011 (based on 3 user opinions)|
|Community Tasting History|
Community Tasting Notes (average 23 notes) - and median of 92 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by stevenjstein on 5/5/2013 & rated 93 points: Still drinking beautifully. Tropical fruits, apple, and pear, along with nutty, savory notes and subtle acidity. Overall, very complex and well balanced. (738 views)|
| ||Tasted by Bob & Sue Atlanta on 11/19/2011 & rated 90 points: Drink up this is fading fast! (1399 views)|
| ||Tasted by GolferChris on 2/17/2009 & rated 94 points: Excellent Chardonnay, with lush, layered flavors of white tropical fruits, spice, butterscotch and caramel. Lovely aromas of pineapple and butterscotch. Nice balancing acidity due to cool vineyard climate. Lingering finish for a chardonnay. Complex, interesting and still drinking extremely well for a 7 year old chard. (2152 views)|
| ||Tasted by TheOtherPoster on 2/8/2007 & rated 89 points: This bottle was not as good as the one we had a year ago. It seemed somewhat thinned out, and although the elements we found previously were present, it just seemed to be less so in all regards. It is still obviously a very well made wine to be sure, but somehow not as seamless and substantial as before. Don't know if it is going downhill or closed... and a score of 89 still means that we found it to be excellent. (2753 views)|
| ||Tasted by Bob & Sue Atlanta on 12/17/2006 & rated 89 points: I give this a rock solid 89 points. Nothing special. I don't get the Parker 94 rating. (2870 views)|
| ||Tasted by g-man on 8/6/2006 & rated 94 points: Sadly my last bottle of th 02' and it was the best one yet. A very creamy texture with generous amounts of tropical fruit and a lengthy finish. I can only hope that the 03' and 04' are anything close to the 02' (2601 views)|
| ||Tasted by cadamson on 6/10/2006 & rated 97 points: I am not a huge Chard fan, but this one really stood out as one of the best I have had. Unbelievable balance and complexity that I did not know a Chard could have! Light straw color, nose of butter, pear and spice. Despite 14.6% alcohol, not at all hot. Despite the strong butterscoth flavor, not overly oaked. Good acidity. Just simply a wow of fruit, butterscotch and a light spice. This is a must have. (2891 views)|
| ||Tasted by g-man on 5/28/2006 & rated 93 points: Great as usual (2617 views)|
| ||Tasted by cab on 2/14/2006: Don't know if its the age or the vintage, but this doesn't do for me what the 2003 did. Good, a little too oaky, certainly buttery, carmellly, sort of spicy and peppery in the middle and end. Thick and golden. Nice mild sourness to the finish. Wish it weren't so oaky. (2790 views)|
| ||Tasted by TashNYC on 1/18/2006 & rated 92 points: Drank @ Bouley @ Bala's birthday party, this wine was wonderful. Lovely butterscotch notes, carmel and orange fruit, w/ no harsh oak on the finish. If only more California producers made this! (3072 views)|
| ||Tasted by cck on 1/18/2006 & rated 92 points: At its peak now. Unfortunately this was my last bottle. On to the 2003 vintage. (3079 views)|
| ||Tasted by TheOtherPoster on 1/16/2006 & rated 92 points: Here is another wonderful California chardonnay. The restaurant was dark so I can't comment on color. Nose of lemon, pineapple, vanilla and a hint of hazelnuts. The wine is medium-bodied, and tastes of tropical fruit with a buttery quality and some underlying minerality with enough acidity to carry it through dinner. Outstanding! (3106 views)|
| ||Tasted by g-man on 12/18/2005 & rated 93 points: I agree with others to allow this to warm up a bit to show its' generous tropical fruit and orange zest qualities. Got better as it sat in the glass for a while and continues to open up. I wish I had bought much more of this than I did. (2959 views)|
| ||Tasted by pkwoods on 10/22/2005 & rated 92 points: This wine is enough to make me start drinking chardonnay more often. Fairly complex nose that evolved over the time of consumption. It was considerably more expressive as it warmed up a little. The aspect of this wine that really wowed me was the finish (30-45 seconds). I hadn't had such a full-bodied white with such a long finish before. Very, very enjoyable. (3033 views)|
| ||Tasted by Quequeg on 10/13/2005 & rated 93 points: Okay, this time we served a bit warmer (straight from the cellar; no chilling!), and everything the other tasters reported remained just as true. Once again, the dish was Donna's pesto; she described this as "sweet" on first taste, but I think we both thought that the real joy was in the butterscotch note (a good counterpoint to the garlic/basil/mintiness of the pesto). It's now more than an hour later, and this has settled down into a beautiful, complex, aromatic cocktail. I drove six hours to pick this wine up; all I can say is that I wish I had bought more. Outstanding; a family favorite. (3010 views)|
| ||Tasted by KevinS on 7/13/2005 & rated 92 points: Light to medium golden color and clear. Heady nose of lemon tart, burnt sugar and a hint of lime. On the palate, pure flavors of lemon juice, key lime, pie crust and caramel. Nice acidity provides focus and a zesty mouthfeel. Not exceptional, but a strong bargain at the price that ought to gain richness and complexity with further age. Buy more... (3121 views)|
| ||Tasted by syrahlvr on 7/9/2005 & rated 93 points: Really good. Very clean and minerally. This was killed pretty quick at dinner tonight. Drinks well now but should age just fine for maybe 5 years. Glad I have 5 more left. (3537 views)|
| ||Tasted by Quequeg on 7/6/2005 & rated 92 points: My goodness, how lovely. Donna and I enjoyed this with fresh pesto. We served it a bit on the cold side (unintentionally; we really wanted to follow the guidance of the other tasters, to let it warm a bit, but we just couldn't wait once we opened it up); even cold, the nose was pure butter, and beautifully so. While cold, the taste was light and fresh; the taster who suggested butterscotch and cold stone was right on the mark, although there was nothing cloying about this. As it warmed, the buttery notes muted and the minerality grew; this just kept getting better and better. What a find! (3087 views)|
| ||Tasted by memlouise on 5/18/2005: I bought this wine on recommendation & I'm glad I did. I love the warm buttery butterscotch framed in cold stone. This is a smooth, long-gliding, complicated taste experience. Don't drink it cold because you'll miss the full event. May be too big & confusing for some chard lovers. Don't know the alcohol level, but it seems humane. An easy 93 points. (3272 views)|
| ||Tasted by fine137 on 4/17/2005 & rated 93 points: Excellent. Even better the second day. Don't serve right out of the refrigerator, needs to warm up a bit to strut its stuff. (3208 views)|
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)
|By Stephen Tanzer|
Vinous, January/Feburary 2005, IWC Issue #118
(Varner Chardonnay Bee Block Spring Ridge Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains) Subscribe to see review text.
Varner Producer website
Chardonnay Chardonnay on Appellation America
Spring Ridge Vineyard Bee Block On weinlagen-info
USA WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!
California California Wines (Wine Institute of California)
California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.
Santa Cruz Mountains Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association | Wikipedia
Once referred to by wine writers as the Chaine d'Or -- or "golden chain" -- the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA sits above Silicon Valley, running along the craggy range next to the Pacific on some of the prettiest parts of Northern California. The area supports more than 75 wineries, despite being limited by geography and high land prices.
In 1981 the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation became federally recognized, one of the first American viticultural areas to be defined by geophysical and climatic factors. The appellation encompasses the Santa Cruz Mountain range, from Half Moon Bay in the north, to Mount Madonna in the south. The east and west boundaries are defined by elevation, extending down to 800 feet in the east and 400 feet in the west.