This was a delicious bottle of California chardonnay. It will never be mistaken for French chablis. The wine has a big bouquet of hazelnut, baking spices, vanilla and baked pears. It is a mouthful of creamy ripe fruit with enough acidity to balance everything. In fact there are notes of green apple and some citrus - lemon/sweet grapefruit. To top it off, everything ends in a long wonderful finish. If you a fortunate to have any in your cellar, I think you should try to drink this over the next 18 months.
Shafer Hillside Select Dinner (Manresa Restaurant, Los Gatos, California USA): Light golden straw color; crisp balanced acidity, palate shows good creaminess with apples and pears and a long finish. Great chardonnay. Drinking well now and for maybe two more years. Elias Fernandez explained that Shafer does not use malolactic fermentation because chardonnay gets ripe enough in Napa that you don't need it to balance the wine like in Burgundy and Chablis. The creaminess comes from leaving the wine on the lees in barrels for 16 (?) months.
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