Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay 2011
Chardonnay from Carneros, California
Wine Style Guide
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
Alcohol By Volume: 14.8%
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
The cooler vintage has produced lively, elegant aromas and flavors of kiwi, pineapple, lime, papaya, apricot and citrus zest on an underlying richness of caramelized fruit tart and creme brulee. The abundance of exotic fruit gives way to a long, delicious mouth-coating finish that lingers on and on.
"Nectar of the Napa Valley Chardonnay gods .. it drips with a lemon oil and yet unfolds with an amazing show of acidity. Maple on stone, biscuit on bone, it's a puzzle of lean and lush. "
"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."
International Wine Cellar
"A huge Chardonnay, so full-bodied and rich, it’s almost like a red wine, but that’s the Red Shoulder personality. With flavors of buttercream, jammy tropical fruit, orange custard, vanilla, buttered toast and brown sugar, it would be over the top, except for vibrant acidity and a deep minerality."
"The 2011 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch has a similar aromatic and flavor profile as the 2010 with more textural richness and oiliness because of the presence of botrytis in this vintage. I have to say, the 2011 is highly intriguing. It will be interesting to see where the wine goes over the coming years.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni
"Offers complex, Muscat-like scents, with a trim mix of green apple and pear. Shows impressive balance and subtle integration of the smoky oak."
Rich & Creamy
Unquestionably, one of California's very best Chardonnays! The 2011 Shafer delivers green apples an mineral in spades; long and crisp on the palate, with a tremendous al dente bite on the palate. This is a grown-up wine. 94 Points Wilfred Wong
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Learn About Shafer Map It
John Shafer and his family founded Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, in 1979. From the Shafers' first wine, a 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon, their wines have won much acclaim. Today, the Shafers farm 200 acres of vineyard in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Oak Knoll regions. Their flagship wine, Hillside Select, is produced from selected...
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Learn About Carneros
Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
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Learn About Chardonnay
White Wine's Queen Bee
Sauvignon, Chardonnay can grow just about anywhere. It adapts well to different
soils and different climates. While frequently paired with
its native home lies in the vineyards of Burgundy,
France. The only major white grape of the region, Chardonnay is at its best on the rolling...
Read More About Chardonnay