Always impressive in its grasp of power and grace, this white is memorable from start to finish, beginning with a dark golden-hay color that dazzles in the glass. A strong floral component of jasmine invites on the nose, while sparkling acidity maintains a freshness amidst the integrated oak and delicious flavors of honeyed pear and crème brûlée. (VB)
Rich and spicy, featuring an elegant mix of baked apple, honeydew melon, pear and light minerally notes. Ends full and persistent, with a long, layered aftertaste. *Highly Recommended* (JL)
Shafer's 2015 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch is creamy, open-knit and super-expressive. Orchard fruit, white flowers and mint are nicely pushed forward, but it is the wine's balance and sense of harmony that stand out most. Lightly buttered notes and a kiss of French oak add the closing touches. (AG)
Never a wine to pull its punches, and getting a tad heavy in some vintages, this wine is no shrinking violet by any means, yet it comes across as a decently balanced bottling overall despite its obvious size and depth of character and impresses at every stop. Its direct, juicy, ripe apple and oak aromas are nicely polished and quite rich, and its full, comfortably lively passage in the mouth never stalls even as its concentration leads to a slight edge of heat as it finishes. Wines of this weight may not suit all palates, but those who like the gusto that a dramatic Chardonnay can bring will be very happy.
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