2011 Shafer Vineyards Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch
Chardonnay - 750ML

  • ST 94
  • WE 93
  • WA 92
  • CG 91
  • W&S 91
  • WS 90

Reg: $49.94

$44.94

This product is
out of stock

Reg: $49.94

$44.94

This product is
out of stock

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ST 94
Stephen Tanzer - Stephen Tanzer's IWC, May 2014
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... 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.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast - Wine Enthusiast, September 2013
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... 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. Drink now–2017.--Steve Heimoff
WA 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, December 2012
(WA90-92 points) 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... (WA90-92 points) 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. - Antonio Galloni
CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide - Connoisseur's Guide, September 2013
Shafer's Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnays are typically cast in a bigger, more emphatically ripe model, yet, if not at all wanting for substance or size, the 2011 version is as bright and balanced as it is rich. It pulls... Shafer's Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnays are typically cast in a bigger, more emphatically ripe model, yet, if not at all wanting for substance or size, the 2011 version is as bright and balanced as it is rich. It pulls its punches as far as full-blown ripeness is concerned, and it winds up a winner with a little more polish and grace than is the norm. It is nicely balanced and structured to keep, and it could improve a bit over the next couple of years, but it is so good in its youth that waiting will not be all that easy.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits - Wine & Spirits, October 2013
There’s intriguing power in this chardonnay, as much about spice as it is about warmth. The oak presence is balanced by full-on lees character, as if you can taste the floral pear aspects of the grape skins, the dusted... There’s intriguing power in this chardonnay, as much about spice as it is about warmth. The oak presence is balanced by full-on lees character, as if you can taste the floral pear aspects of the grape skins, the dusted almond flavor of happily exhausted yeast. Those scents merge into the vanilla stretched tight over lemon acidity, which lends elasticity to the texture. A substantial white to serve with roast veal.
WS 90
Wine Spectator - Wine Spectator, July 2013
Offers complex, Muscat-like scents, with a trim mix of green apple and pear. Shows impressive balance and subtle integration of the smoky oak. Drink now through 2022.--James Laube
Color & Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region North Coast
Appellation Los Carneros
Sub-appellation Carneros/Napa
Vintage 2011

Label

One of the most iconic Chardonnay wines produced in California, Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay bears the elegant imprint of its vineyard home – 68 acres that roll across the pastoral hill country of Los Carneros, a place where Napa Valley meets the northernmost rim of San Francisco Bay.

Cooled by the marine breezes off the Bay, the region has a long, steady growing season well-suited to growing superior quality Chardonnay. Shafer harvested their first fruit from this vineyard in 1994.

The vineyard is named to honor the Red-shouldered hawks who, along with other birds of prey, play a vital role in the winery’s sustainable farming practices. The local hawks and kestrels keep the population of vine-damaging gophers naturally under control so no rodent poisons are ever needed, keeping the vines and soils healthy.

The wine is 100% Chardonnay, whole-cluster pressed and fermented with wild yeast in individual barrels (75% oak, 25% stainless steel). No malolactic fermentation is allowed. Aging is 14 months in 75% new French oak barrels (Allier, Vosges) and 25% in stainless steel barrels.

Winery

Shafer Vineyards

Shafer Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley. It was founded in 1972 by John Shafer who left a 23-year career in the publishing industry to pursue a second career in wine. After purchasing a 210-acre estate, the family faced the arduous task of replanting the existing vineyards which dated back to the 1920s.

Evolving from grape growers to vintners, the Shafers crushed their first Cabernet grapes in 1978 and began construction on their winery a year later. The first Shafer Cabernet became a benchmark, winning the acclaimed San Francisco Vintners Club taste-off upon release and, over a decade later taking first place in an international blind tasting held in Germany, where it outranked such wines as Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateau Palmer.

Doug Shafer became winemaker in 1983 after graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. A year later, Elias Fernandez joined the winery as assistant winemaker. Together Doug and Elias have worked closely to forge the Shafer style of quality, consistency and elegance.

New vineyards have been added over the years, with acreage acquired in the Oak Knoll, Stags Leap and Carneros districts, bringing the total Shafer vineyard acreage to over 200 acres. Winery facilities have been expanded and extensive caves carved into the hillside for aging wine.

In 1994, Elias was appointed winemaker, and Doug took over the reins as president when John became chairman of the board.