Varner Santa Barbara County El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
We served this with grilled Cod and Salmon dinner with son Alec and daughter-in-law Viviana visiting from NYC/FL. As I've written in several blogs, we've been having fun with "V" wines as a result. I recently acquired several bottles of Venge Chardonnay for such an occasion.
Ironically, when I went to the Chardonnay rack in our cellar and pulled from a selection of older bottles, as part of cellar management and rotation, selecting an old bottle most likely to nearing the end of its drinking window, I pulled out a "V" bottle from Varner by chance! Great fun with labels and whimsical matching wines to friends, occasions and loved-ones.
This label is from the Varner brothers, Jim and Bob, known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Barbara County. They recently severed ties with grower producers the Neely families, losing access to a source for fruit from the Spring Ridge Vineyard in the Santa Cruz range they have enjoyed since the early 2000s. Here forward, they'll focus on Santa Barbara County sources.
This label is one such label, a single vineyard designated label sourced from the El Camino Vineyard in Santa Barbara County.92 points by Vinous and was heralded by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate as a good value "serious Chardonnay for (the pricepoint). Despite its very reasonable price, the 2014 Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard delivers serious intensity, richness and nuance. Broad, ample and phenolic ..."
Another review writes, "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."
Straw colored, medium bodied, bright notes of grapefruit citrus with notes of lime, mineral and hints of oak.
RM 88 points.