Several factors go into making this Chardonnay as extraordinary as it is. One is Carneros itself, which produces vibrant, crisp, fruit-filled grapes. Second is the Shafer approach of fermenting the wine in both stainless steel and oak barrels, giving a complexity of textures and brightnesses. The use of natural or wild yeasts may also contribute to complexity, while a firm decision against malolactic fermentation preserves vital acidity. The result is a compelling, layered wine whose tropical fruit, mineral, buttered toast and creme brulée flavors are in near-perfect harmony and balance.
Rich and creamy, both in flavor and texture, this is bold and extracted, with fleshy fig, apricot and light nutmeg shadings. Yet for all its power this offers a sense of elegance and balance.
Aromas of lime, lemon drop, minerals, talc and spices. Dense, chewy and juicy, with a dusty, tactile texture and a classic dryness. A superripe flavor of apricot nectar is enlivened by bright acidity and a note of citrus pith. This large-scaled chardonnay harmonized nicely with extended aeration: I'd give it another year in the bottle before pulling the cork.
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