Velvet Bee

Owner(s) Collette Kaplan, Phil Kaplan
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Velvet Bee

This winery started with a small backyard vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley acquired in 2009. While practicing law in Costa Mesa, California, Phillip was looking to get into the wine business. He took courses at UC Davis on winegrowing and did some small scale winemaking. Befriended by several local winemakers including Joe Davis of Arcadian Winery, he started to make wine at Arcadian in 2011 and produced his first Pinot Noir in 2012.

Pinot Noir vineyard sources are primarily in the Sta. Rita Hills.

Phil and Collette Kaplan came to the venture partial to French wines and the goal was to mimic those wines stylistically.

400 cases of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are produced and sold on the website

Reviewed Wines

2014 Velvet Bee Rita’s Crown Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

14.45% alc., 84 cases, $28. Released November 1, 2017. Dijon clone 76. Harvest Brix 22.4º. Barrel fermented, malolactic fermentation. · Moderately light golden yellow color and apparently unfiltered. Aromas of apple, citrus, slate and salty air emerge on the nose with resolve. Modest creaminess in the mouth, with flavors of lemon, topical fruits (passion fruit) and caramel. Quite sophisticated in a poised, fresh and seamless style. The mouthfeel is particularly appealing. Score: 92. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2014 Velvet Bee Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.53% al.c, pH 3.53-3.78, 194 cases, $38. Released November 1, 2017. Sourced from Bentrock Vineyard (667, 25%), La Encantada Vineyard (777 and 115, 31%) and Rancho La Viña (115, 31%). Harvest Brix 23.0º-24.3º. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark berries and nutty oak. Light to mid weight in style, with engaging flavors of red and black berries. Nicely balanced with a supportive oak thread and some envious cherry fruit on the modestly long finish. Score: 88. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2013 Velvet Bee Rita’s Crown and Radian Vineyards Star. Rita Hills Chardonnay

13.94% alc., 201 cases, $28. Released November 1, 2015. 64% Rita’s Crown Vineyard (Dijon 76) and 36% Radian Vineyard (Dijon 95). Rita’s Crown: stainless steel ferment, no malolactic fermentation. Radian: French oak barrel fermented, 20% new, 100% malolactic fermentation.Harvest Brix 22.6º (Rita’s Crown) and 25.0º (Radian). · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of citrus, clay, white flower blossom, stony resolve and a hint of nuttiness. Some richness on the palate with refreshing core of citrus, yellow apple, lychee, and caramel flavors with background notes of nuts and salinity. Clean and balanced with a satiny texture. Score: 90. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2013 Velvet Bee Bentrock Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.94% alc., 196 cases, pH 3.59, TA 0.542, $38. Released November 1, 2017. Clones 667 and “828.” Harvest Brix 25.1º. Aged 24 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Very shy aromas initially of dark fruits and nutty oak. Mid weight flavors of dark red and black fruits with a touch of spice. Quite forward, with soft tannins, bright acidity and complimentary oak in the background. Much better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more aromatic and fruit expression and finishing generosity. Score: 89. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2013 Velvet Bee La Encantada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.31% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.557, 125 cases, $38. Released November 1, 2017. Clones 777 and 115 (50% each). Harvest Brix 21.9º. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Very little to report aromatically even when checked from an opened bottle on the next day. Light in weight, even shallow, with flavors of red cherry and cranberry. Very elegantly composed with gentle tannins and supportive oak in the background. The fruit seems under ripe and there is not enough savory character to lift interest. Score: 86. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

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