2011 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay

SKU #1124607 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 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.  (6/ 2013)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2017.  (12/ 2012)

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Price: $54.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mācon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Carneros

- Just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, Carneros is kept cool by Bay breezes and thick fog, and has long been famous for cool-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wine based on the two varietals. Warmer pockets have proved interesting and promising homes for syrah, cabernet and merlot.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.8