Shafter 2004 Carneros Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay

Photo by Corder Studios/ corderostudios.com

Tasting notes: Creamy pear melds with lemon and peach, while crisp acid gracefully balances the wine’s rich sweetness. Worth knowing: Named Red Shoulder Ranch after the species of hawk that hunts in its rows, the Shafers’ vineyard produces such dense fruit that the wines require nearly twice the typical number of months in barrels. Originally intended to be blended to produce their Napa Chardonnay, this wine’s superlative quality convinced the Shafers that it could—and should—stand on its own.

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