Vinous Media 96
"The 2013 Chardonnay Bee Block is the creamiest and most expansive of the three Varner Chardonnays. Pastry, lemon oil, honey, wild flowers and mint are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop in the glass. While the Amphitheater Block and Home Block could use another year or two in bottle, the Bee Block is already quite open and expressive. There is so much to like here."~Antonio Galloni
Wine Advocate 95
"My favorite in the line, the 2013 Chardonnay Bee Block Spring Ridge Vineyard knocks it out of the park with its full-bodied richness, sensational purity and classic aromatics of white flowers, sautéed apples, pear, brioche and crushed rocks. I think the most complete Chardonnay of the group, it has clean and classy aromatics, lots of texture and vibrant acidity on the finish. Drink it anytime over the coming 7-8 years. Some of my favorite Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in California come from Jim and Bob Varner. As I wrote last year, all of these releases come from the estate Spring Mountain Vineyard, which lies above the fog line at an elevation of 700-900 feet. Everything is farmed organically and there’s no irrigation. With regards to the winemaking, barrel fermentation, native yeast and limited new oak are the name of the game. These latest 2013s are all gorgeous and at the price, represent smokin’ values."~Jeb Dunnuck
"In 1980, twin brothers Jim and Bob Varner began their labor of love when they planted Spring Ridge Vineyards in Portola Valley in the northern part of the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation. Located 10 miles from the ocean, Spring Ridge is made up of several separate blocks of vines, each with its own microclimate and soil difference. The vineyard has been dry farmed and hand-hoed since 1988. Insecticides have never been used, nor fertilizers. The grapes are hand-harvested only in the morning into small lug boxes to allow natural cooling of the juice.
Bob works in the rows during each harvest, insuring that sorting is done at the vine rather than at the winery. The wine is treated as naturally as possible, using indigenous yeast and malolactic bacteria from the vineyard. Rather than fining and filtering, the barrels are hand-racked, using a fontaine d'aspiration and a hand-cranked barrel lifting device. With this method, the lees are not disturbed and the wine is clarified without filtration."~Distributor Notes