This is a perennially impressive wine, floral in a heady perfume of white roses. Fresh and fleshy, the expansive palate offers concentrated flavors of kiwi and pineapple. The wine was largely fermented in oak, then aged just over a year in French oak (75% new). It holds the oak well, ending bright in juicy acidity.
The 2016 offers alluring, energetic aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, kiwi, apricot, citrus zest, pineapple, and toasted almond – a dazzling, juicy bowl of exotic fruit held together with flinty structure, pleasing minerality, and refreshing acidity.
Shafer’s single-vineyard Carneros-grown Chardonnay is produced from small-clustered clones of grapes selected for their low yields and distinctive flavors. Fermentation takes place within individual oak and stainless steel barrels using native yeasts. The wine matures on the lees for 14 months and since it undergoes no malolactic fermentation this Chardonnay retains a lively natural acidity. The vineyard is named for its Red-shouldered Hawks and other birds of prey, who play an important role in Shafer’s sustainable farming practices.
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