2001 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1002799 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Another wonderfully complex wine from this single vineyard on the Napa side of the A.V.A. It's a tight, young wine, showing lime, apricot and mineral flavors. A sunburst of acidity marks the clean, dry finish. Oak and lees play supporting roles. It's likely this wine will improve over the long haul.  (6/2003)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2001 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch seems already to have passed its joy period, although it is still an outstanding wine with good acidity, loads of honeysuckle, peach, apricot, and some white currants. (RP)  (2/2005)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Delicate aromas of pear, lemon and lime; seems cooler and less exotic than the 2000. Intense citrus flavors enlivened by firm acidity. A distinctly cooler but particularly fresh version of this wine, which does not go through malolactic fermentation. (ST)  (5/2003)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Exotic smoky orange and vibrant citrus flavors lead to a spicy core of tangerine-infused pear and nectarine flavors. Picks up and finishes with a delicate touch of smoky, toasty oak, while keeping the citrus flavors at the forefront. (JL)  (7/2003)

K&L Notes

This Chardonnay is produced entirely from grapes grown in the Carneros district on the winery's Red Shoulder Ranch, named for the red-shouldered hawks that play an important role in Shafer's natural farming practices. The vineyard was planted in 1990 to five different Chardonnay clones specially selected for their small clusters, low yields and distinctive flavors. Rich and delicious.

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Price: $34.99
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- 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, Mâcon, 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.

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.


- 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:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.