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Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Bottle

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2013 Red Shoulder Ranch® Chardonnay

Release date: March 1, 2015
Suggested California retail: $52

“…one of the best non-malolactic, barrel-fermented Chardonnays in California …”
– Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

On 68 acres near the northern tip of San Francisco Bay, Shafer harvests fruit for this classic single vineyard wine.

“The 2013 fills your glass with citrus-flower aromas and flavors of apricot, red and green apple, honeysuckle, kiwi, pineapple, Meyer Lemon zest, and vanilla – a luscious, juicy basket of summer fruit held together with just the right touch of minerality and lively acidity.”
– Shafer Winemaker Elias Fernandez

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The Red Shoulder Ranch vineyard in the Carneros region offers a long, consistently cool growing season, which is ideal for retaining acidity in Chardonnay fruit. To focus on varietal flavors, 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 has 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, we named the vineyard in their honor,” says Doug Shafer.

“… looks like one of their all-time greats, and to date they’ve all been very impressive wines. The crisp tangerine, honeyed citrus, pear and white peach notes are prominent … It’s textured, crisp acid, from having not gone though malolactic, gives it focus and zest, and the overall impression is one of brilliant richness subtly touched by smoke, but letting the fruit dominate.”
– Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate


Related Links

2013 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay Fact Sheet
2015 Current Releases
Red Shoulder Ranch® Story

Shafer Brochure
Finding Our Wines
Robert M. Parker Jr.’s The Wine Advocate,
October 2014

2013 Red Shoulder Ranch® Chardonnay – Reviews

“… looks like one of their all-time greats, and to date they’ve all been very impressive wines. The crisp tangerine, honeyed citrus, pear and white peach notes are prominent … It’s textured, crisp acid, from having not gone though malolactic, gives it focus and zest, and the overall impression is one of brilliant richness subtly touched by smoke, but letting the fruit dominate.”
— Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

 

 

 

 


Celebrating 20 years of Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay

This wine has reached an exciting milestone – its 20th vintage! In our new video Doug Shafer takes you to the vineyard where it all begins to show where the beauty in the bottle comes from.



Q&A on Why Shafer Made the Switch to Diam Corks in 2013 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay

What is a Diam cork?
A Diam cork is made from 100% real cork that is ground and run through a process that, at the molecular level, eliminates TCA (the chemical compound that causes wines to be “corked”) and other microbial contaminants that produce off flavors. Wine corks are produced in France from this clean, ground cork using a food-grade binding agent and are in compliance with FDA regulation. For more details on the process visit this URL: http://www.diam-closures.com/Process-en

Why is Shafer using Diam corks?
We don’t want a single bottle of Shafer wine to be corked. Ever. Over the past 30 years we have gone to extraordinary lengths to eliminate the presence of TCA in the natural corks we used and have been 98% to 99% successful. That’s not good enough. We want to be 100% TCA-free and using this cork will get us there.

What do you like about Diam corks?
We have tested Diam corks in trials for seven years and have come to believe the company’s guarantee that its corks are 100 percent free of TCA. In addition, these corks offer something else that natural corks cannot – a guarantee of the amount of oxygen the cork allows into the bottle. This is referred to as Oxygen Transfer Rate (OTR). Natural corks, by contrast, have inconsistent density and permeability, which means a variable amount of oxygen is allowed into the bottle. Using a Diam cork ensures that your wine won’t be “over the hill” before its time.

Why are Diam corks used in your Chardonnay but not the other wines?
We have tested these corks for seven years and we like the results. Our Chardonnay is a wine that we know most consumers enjoy within two to three years of release. We continue to test these corks to see how they perform in terms of long-term aging. We won’t know those results for a few more years but given what we’ve seen so far, we expect to be using Diam corks in our red wines in the future.

How are Diam different from other composite corks?
Unlike other composite corks, Diam uses a safe, clean process to eliminate TCA from ground natural cork – it’s the same process used to remove caffeine from coffee beans. Also, Diam engineers its corks to guarantee a consistent rate at which oxygen is allowed into the bottle over time. This ensures that every bottle will age in your cellar at a similar rate.

Can Diam corks be recycled like natural corks?
Yes. Most corks collected in recycling bins are re-purposed to make cork flooring, as such, Diam is perfectly useful.

Can I trust the Diam corks in your wines?
Yes. We have tested these corks for seven years and would not use them it we did not fully believe they are what’s best for the wine.

 

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