2011 Shafer - Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch 750ml

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IWC 94   Collector 92
2011 Shafer - Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch Front View

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Professional Reviews For This Wine


International Wine Cellar | Rating: 94

Bright yellow. Cool, almost Chablis-like aromas of lime, white pepper, nettles, mint and menthol, plus a savory whiff of chicken broth. Dense and intensely flavored, with superb acidity and penetrating minerality giving this wine an amazingly racy quality for its 14.8% alcohol. The long, rising finish features terrific lingering spice character. My favorite chardonnay to date from Shafer, this beauty offers a great combination of weight and intensity.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 168

Professional content appears courtesy of Vinfolio

Collector Reviews For This Wine


Rating: 92
Author: Rutiger
Trust Rating: 98
Tasted On: 08/12/2013
Brilliant pale yellow.Fresh peach, pineapple and mineral. Sparkles on the palate with peach and apple.

Average rating: 94, based on 2 reviews

Collector Data For This Wine

90 bottles owned by 21 collectors.

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About This Producer


John Shafer began working and replanting steep, rocky vineyards in Napa Valley's Stags Leap District in 1972, and has since built Shafer into one of the most sought-after labels from Napa. John, his son Doug, and winemaker Elias Fernandez call themselves farmers, and are proud of it. Doug took over the vineyards in 1989, and within a year began to integrate organic techniques into his vineyards while the term "organic" still elicited sideways looks. "My soils were getting tired," Doug says. "They had been farmed since 1922." He installed solar panels in 2004, and now enjoys watching his batteries send power back to the grid. Elias was hired by Shafer in 1984 and named winemaker in 1994. Shafer Hillside Select is a benchmark wine of the Stag's Leap District, with a string of awards too long to list. Aged a full four years prior to release, it is, in the words of Robert Parker, "One of the world's, as well as Napa's, most profound Cabernet Sauvignons."

Click here to listen to GrapeRadio's podcast about Shafer (Show #93, 32:01 min 15 MB)
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Wine Varietal: Chardonnay


Arguably the best dry white wine grape out there, Chardonnay is grown all over the globe. In addition to being the backbone of fine white Burgundies, Chardonnay is also one of the three major grape varieties used in producing Champagne. Susceptible to a myriad of complications, Chardonnay berries are relatively small, thin-skinned, fragile, and oxidize easily. Chardonnay grapes can be sensitive to winemaking techniques and more difficult to handle from harvest to bottling than many other varieties. Some producers will use malolactic fermentation (where harsher malic acid is turned into softer lactic acid and carbon dioxide) to reduce crispness and acidity and add a creamy, buttery texture to wines. The "oaky" character of some Chardonnays comes from fermenting or aging which takes place in oak barrels. Once barrel-aged, Chardonnay may take on notes of vanilla or toast. While Chardonnay is produced worldwide, the best can be found in France, the United States, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa. Typical descriptors for Chardonnay include mineral, green apple, citrus, tropical fruits, vanilla, butter and smokiness.

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