2014 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay
Energy and focus the two elements that stand out in Shafer's 2014 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch. Lemon peel, white pepper and floral notes are some of the signatures. The 2014 is shaping up to be another jewel of a wine from Shafer. Shafer is one of Napa Valley's best oiled machines. Year after year the wines deliver the goods in a rich, sumptuous style that defines the very essence of contemporary Napa Valley at its very best. (AG)
This marquee estate site supplies yet another gorgeous vintage of this powerful white, which opens with a crisp aroma of orange blossom. It follows in to the full-bodied palate, alongside layers of pear, pineapple and melon, all kept fresh by juicy acidity amid bites of oak and baking spice.
Elegance and finesse define the pear, melon and honeysuckle flavors, which are lingering and persistent. The creamy texture features a touch of pithy citrus skin, adding to the nuance and complexity. Drink now through 2022.
*One Star* Shafer's Red Shoulder Ranch bottlings are rarely if ever governed by cautious restraint and more typically aim, as this one so convincingly does, for ripeness, extravagant oak and fruity weight. It is a substantial, very broad, big-bodied wine, and it holds nothing back, and, while it gives ground to palpable heat at the finish, it is so uncompromisingly rich that it succeeds in spite of its inclinations to excess. We would definitely opt for lighter Chardonnay when delicate fare is on the evening menu, but this will make delicious drinking with the likes of game birds, tea-smoked duck or veal cutlets.
Shafer's Carneros Chardonnay was whole-cluster pressed, barrel-fermented with wild yeast in 75% oak and 25% stainless steel, and aged for 14 months. The wine skipped malolactic fermentation, and retains all of its natural acidity. Shafer thought that the red-shouldered hawks performed such a valuable service in their sustainably farmed vineyards, they named this one for them.