The "Two Pauls" Visit Mt Eden and Varner

Visited Mount Eden and Varner during the Annual “Two Pauls” tasting.

Tasted tons of Pinot barrel samples at Mount Eden and the prognosis for 2008-2009 looks promising. Jeff keeps turning out great wine year after year.

We then traveled to Varner to visit Da Twins.
After an hour or so of barrel sampling we got down to some serious tasting.

1)2008 Varner “Amphitheater” Chard – 13.8%
Light yellow. Creamy, lemony coconut nose.
Spicy, slightly sweet fruit bordering on overdone. Solid though. [88 pts]

2)2008 Varner “Home” Chard – 14.3%
Light yellow. Aromatic floral lemon/lime nose.
Powerful spicy, chard fruit with a very long finish.
Young with fine potential given 2-4 yrs. [90 pts]

3)2008 Varner “Bee Block” Chard – 14.3%
Light yellow. Fine honeyed nose.
Elegant, balanced citric fruit with another long finish. Lipsmackin’. [90 pts]
4)2007 Varner Amphitheater” Chard – 14.2%
Light-medium yellow. Perfumed nose of sandlewood, sweet oak and lemon.
Yummy, green lime palate with a round finish. Nice stuff. [91 pts]

5)2006 Varner Amphitheater” Chard – 13.6%
Light-medium yellow. Somewhat oxidized, with hint of nail polish.
Advanced, mature profile. Off bottle? [86 pts]
This had shown much better in the past, so I opened a bottle at home and it was much better.
It was far less advanced in color and taste, but it seems to be at it’s peak. Drink up. [89 pts]

6)2005 Varner Amphitheater” Chard – 13.9%
Medium yellow. Lemon/lime wine with a hint of cardboard.
A couple of us thought this wine was slightly corked. Elegant but simple. [87+ pts]
7)2005 Varner “Home” Chard – 13.6%
Light-medium yellow. Great nose of lemons, grilled nuts and spice.
Fabulous, steely, creamy, limey fruit in perfect balance.
A ringer for a white Burg. My favorite Varner Chard ever! [93+ pts]

8)2005 Varner “Bee Block” Chard – 13.6%
Light-medium yellow. Reticent citric nose.
Finely balanced grapefruit mouth. Still young. [91+ pts]

9)2004 Varner “Amphitheater” Chard – 14.3%
Medium yellow. Aged, nutty nose.
Aged, fully mature, grilled nuts profile.
Quite interesting and drinking well now. [91+ pts]

10)2001 Varner “Amphitheater” Chard – No alcohol listed
Youthful light-medium yellow. Sandlewood nose.
Fine spicy Chard fruit in perfect balance. Really nice! [92 pts]

11)2007 Neely “Picnic Block” PN – 14.6%
Medium ruby red. Fine framboise nose.
Very spicy pinot with a touch of heat in the finish. [88 pts]

12)2007 Neely “Hidden Block” PN – 14.6%
Medium-dark ruby red. Fine peppery black cherry nose.
Very spicy cherry/raspberry fruit. Quite nice. [90+ pts]
13)2005 Varner “Hidden Block” PN – 14.3%
Light-medium red. Smokey, herbal nose.
Very spicy, balanced youthful fruit. Will continue to age. [92 pts]

14)2004 Varner “Hidden Block” PN – 14.2%
Medium-dark red with onion skin at edge. Very ripe nose.
Darker fruited, somewhat pruney. Drink up. [86+ pts]

15)2003 Varner “Hidden Block” PN – 14.8%
Dark red. Rich ripe darker fruited nose.
Chunky, firm black fruits. Could age a couple. [88 pts]

16)2002 Varner “Hidden Block” PN – 14.5%
Medium-dark red. Aromatic piney dark fruit nose.
Lovely, perfectly balanced pinot at it’s peak. Excellent. [93 pts]

After tasting Varner wines for several vintages now, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
1)The pinots should be consumed between the 4-10 year mark.
2)The chards should be consumed between the 3-9 year mark.
They do not age like Mount Eden. They mature much quicker and develop more intense secondary flavors.
3)The Varner twins ROCK! flirtysmile


“Opinot, Not Oporto”

Well done, Paul. I do need to try these wines. Been so far behind on them.

Hey Paul, thanks again for the invite. Been a while since I had tried CA wines from barrel. The wines were terribly impressive and the twins are flat out great people .