#65 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
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.
The 2009 offers lush, luxurious aromas and flavors of melon, honeysuckle, apricot, pineapple and flint all held together with bright acidity, good structure and elegant balance.