Tag Archives: Varner

California Chardonnay Entering Its Golden Age?

A number of Golden State Chardonnays I’ve sampled in recent months has me thinking there are now a host of appealing, balanced and complex California Chardonnays available. Hallelujah! Maybe California’s most widely planted grape has at last entered its golden era. Continue reading

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Visit to Varner: Superb Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnays

I’ve previously written here about the long lived, complex Chardonnays of Mount Eden, and on my blog about the great Chards from Rhys and Ridge. The other Chardonnays from this region in the same league come from a vineyard in Portola Valley planted by identical twin brothers, Bob and Jim Varner. The keys to the Varners’ terrific Chardonnays are meticulous farming and very gentle winemaking techniques. Continue reading

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Great California Chardonnay and Cabernet: From 1965 to Present

My favorite wine from our Chardonnay flights was the gorgeous 2007 Rhys Alpine, which is still a baby, but our 1990 Mount Eden was also a real treat. We then had three flights of Cabernet: an older flight, going back to 1965; a maturing flight from the ’90s; and a vertical of Shafer Hillside Select. The stars of these three flights for me were the 1991 Peter Michael Les Pavots, my WOTN; a stellar bottle of 1965 Charles Krug Vineyard Selection; and the ’97 Shafer Hillside Select. Continue reading

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