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 Vintage1996 Label 1 of 31 
ProducerShafer (web)
VineyardRed Shoulder Ranch
SubRegionNapa / Sonoma

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 1998 and 2002 (based on 3 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 89.1 pts. and median of 89 pts. in 11 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by uberoh on 8/8/2010 & rated 87 points: lots of butterscotch, sweet texture and taste, has lost some of the acid balance - still drinks well but probably near the end of the road. (2260 views)
 Tasted by mlawren1 on 3/2/2008 & rated 87 points: stong butterscotch flavors overpower the hints of fruit that are left. Finishes with a bit of toasted biscuit. (2028 views)
 Tasted by Mark on 1/17/2008 & rated 84 points: Thatís it for the 96 Red Shoulder, itís my last bottle, and clearly the weakest and most mature of the bottles that Iíve opened. This example shows clear signs of thick butterscotch, caramel . Little fresh fruit, the butterscotch components overwhelm all others. Ragged finish with some lemon and elevated acidity. It was best within the first 30 minutes but then degraded after that. If this is a representative example, then the 96 is now done. (2121 views)
 Tasted by Gfritzh on 8/21/2007 & rated 94 points: A wonderful, mature chardonnay. Flavor remains fresh, creamy and spicy with fine citrus notes and minimal oak. Great color and a nice, long finish. It is a great surprise that a 1996 Chardonnay would be as great as the 1996 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch after 11 years. (2173 views)
 Tasted by Mark on 4/5/2007 & rated 88 points: After ten years, this wine is beginning to show itís age. No tasting note from this opening, but the bottle showed a clear oxidized character suggesting that this bottle is in decline. (2154 views)
 Tasted by Mark on 3/19/2006 & rated 91 points: This wine continues to just blow me away. Ten years old, and itís just rich, thick and creamy. Button notes with lemon zest and citrus in mouth mixed with smoke . A candy like finish. This is big and opposite of what you would want from a white burgundy, but such a nice balance of flavors. Best within the first hour and a half. I recall a conversation with Doug Shafer many years ago, he was surprised how well the Red Shoulder has done over the years, this is clearly testament to how well it can get. At itís peak.
Day 2: Leaner with the fruit elements in teh background but the butterscoth in teh foreground. It's possible that he candy like elemnts have grown in intensive, or just missing the fruit component, take front row. Not nearly as good and balanced as on the first day, but one of the rare bottels of wine that remains interesting and good on day 2. (1568 views)
 Tasted by Mark on 8/28/2005 & rated 91 points: Iím actually very impressed, I was concerned that the 96 might have peaked, but I was blown away by a great Chard at itís peak. The nose seems fat with light butter vanilla pear and exotic fruits. After about thirty minutes, the nose did seem to recede somewhat, but in the mouth itís intense. Same flavors, but with added lemon zest and more exotic fruits. Itís very full in the mouth and finish with a medium length on the finish. The oak is well integrated. Iíve usually found that the Red Shoulder tends to peak out at around 7 years, so itís great to see some vintages that go beyond. (1651 views)
 Tasted by flashvictor on 7/20/2004 & rated 91 points: Deep golden in color, this opens with a pretty nose of honey and mellow oak. The body is a complex mixture of pear, apple and fig. The finish is long and tangy with the slightest hint of harshness. It took 30 minutes after opening for the excessive oakiness to wash-out. This is a very good chardonnay at its peak. Drink Up! (2029 views)
 Tasted by dbg on 3/23/2000: outstanding (936 views)
 Tasted by dbg on 10/16/1999: excellent-outstanding (947 views)
 Tasted by dbg on 5/22/1998: excellent buttery, melon, citrus, banana, great (1074 views)

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 1998, IWC Issue #78
(Shafer Vineyards Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch Carneros Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)

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Producer website
John Shafer and his family founded Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, in 1979. From the Shafers' first wine, a 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon,
their wines have won much acclaim. Today, the Shafers farm 200 acres of vineyard in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Oak Knoll regions. Their flagship wine, Hillside Select,
is produced from selected blocks of the family's hillside vineyards and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Merlot, One Point Five
(Cabernet Sauvignon) and Relentless (a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend), which was named #1 wine of the year by Wine Spectator's "Top 100" of 2012.


Chardonnay on Appellation America


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ≠different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ≠winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.


Straddles the southern ends of Napa & Sonoma Counties.

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