2015 Shafer Vineyards Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $49.94 (reg. $54.94)
From “one of Napa Valley’s best-oiled machines” (Galloni) the Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay from Shafer is a terrific success year after year, showcasing the best of what both Napa and Chardonnay can offer. Parker has written that it’s “unlikely there is a more consistent winery performing at such a high level of quality” than Shafer, and their flagship Chardonnay is an impressive showpiece for modern California style. Featuring impeccable balance and precision, the ‘Red Shoulder Ranch’ sees a decent helping of new French Oak, but absolutely no malolactic fermentation, so you get an electric combination of richness and acidity with a seriously layered finish. 2015 was another in a string of near perfect vintages in Napa, and another great opportunity for buyers to stock up on a Chardonnay that is “always impressive” (Wine Enthusiast).
Named for the hawks that help keep gopher populations in check, Red Shoulder Ranch is a picturesque 68-acre vineyard in Carneros that gets plenty of that priceless fog coming in off of the San Francisco Bay, making it prime territory for rich, but balanced Chardonnay. Shafer is a “superstar reference point/iconic” (Parker) winery, and there are few Napa Chardonnays as consistently in demand as their Red Shoulder Ranch. For under 50 bucks, this is an easy buy for fans of top domestic Chardonnay. Enjoy over the next decade!