LCBO Vintages Release
The Red Shoulder Ranch vineyard in the Carneros region offers a long, consistently cool growing season that is ideal for retaining acidity in Chardonnay fruit. To focus on varietal flavours, Shafer uses only wild yeast for fermentation and does not put the wine through malolactic fermentation.
Shafer’s Carneros vineyard is home to countless gophers who love to feast on young vine roots. To contain this problem, Shafer erected owl nesting boxes and hawk perches to encourage day and night rodent patrol. The Red-shouldered hawks and other birds of prey do such an outstanding job, the vineyard was named in their honour.
“Sliced green mango and lemon aromas, hints of flan and creme. Full body, very intense creamy texture and tangy acidity. Long and powerful finish. Electric. A great Napa chardonnay. Drink or hold.”
95 points, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017
“First, their non-malolactic 2014 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch comes from a cool-climate vineyard in Carneros. This is aged in 75% oak casks and 25% stainless steel, which seems to be the perfect marriage for showcasing this wine’s rich fruit. The wine has loads of tangerine oil, citrus blossom, a hint of apples and orange marmalade. The oak is subtle, the wine medium to full-bodied, pure and rich. (This is the official tasting note, but I shared two bottles with some friends of mine at the casual Market restaurant in St. Helena, and it was a huge hit.)”
93 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2016
“Elegance and finesse define the pear, melon and honeysuckle flavours, 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. 6,700 cases made. “
93 points, Wine Spectator, Nov 2016
“Shafer’s 2014 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch is powerful, rich and ample, with impeccable balance and class. Lemon confit, white flowers and mint are some of the nuances that are laced together. The warm, dry year produced an unctuous, oily Chardonnay, despite the malolactic fermentation having been blocked. The 2014 was done 75% in oak and 25% in steel.”
92 points, Vinous.com, Dec 2016