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Professional Ratings: 93 Wine Spectator, 93 Wine Enthusiast, 92 Vinous / Antonio Galloni
Region: Carneros, California
Style: Rich & Creamy
Alcohol By Volume: 14.9%
Item no. 117242
The 2010 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay offers alluring, luxurious aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, apricot, melon, pineapple all held together with bright acidity, flinty structure and elegant balance. Made with 100% Chardonnay.
Shafer's single-vineyard Carneros-grown Chardonnay is produced from small-clustered clones of grapes selected for their low yields and distinctive flavors. Fermentation takes place within individual oak and stainless steel barrels using native yeasts. The wine matures on the lees for 14 months and since it undergoes no malolactic fermentation this Chardonnay retains a lively natural acidity. The vineyard is named for its Red-shouldered Hawks and other birds of prey, who play an important role in Shafer's natural farming practices.
Fresh and lively, offering mouthwatering tangerine, peach and nectarine flavors that are fine and delicate, with floral citrus and honeysuckle scents.
Another terrific offering from Shafer, this is a wine that seems to do well regardless of the vintage. It always shows a firm minerality and slight herbaceousness, with tropical fruit flavors and a smoky coating of fine oak. It's a shade less opulent than the 2009, making this very elegant and refined, yet still rich and complex. Don't drink it too cold—airing brings out subtle nuances.
Shafer's 2010 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch offers up lemon, white flowers, spices and crushed rocks. The cold, late vintage yielded a wine loaded with intensity, focus and verve. As has been the case in recent years, the Chardonnay is aged 75% in oak and 25% in steel. This is a fabulous showing from Shafer.