Shafer Napa Valley Carneros Red Shoulder Ranch 2013 Chardonnay, $44.19-$51.99, 94 points, was a light gold color with a slight green tint.
Aromas were dominated by pleasant oaky caramel, vanilla, crème brûlée, and softened by a lovely Mandarin orange.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and remarkably well-balanced flavors reflective of the aromas nuanced with lemon/lime magically transmuting the oak into pure delight.
Finished long on the trailing palate, ginger notes, faint nuanced exotic flavors, and a potent 14.9% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with a host of tasty entrees, from Turkish-spiced chicken to deep fried dry sea scallops, but barely okay with our key-lime pie (too much alcohol).
Commentary: Those that follow NHWM know I'm not a fan of substandard, slobbering, snarky, or snobby attitudes in wine or people, and typical Cali Chardonnay follows one or more of these kinds of attitudes, but this Chardonnay, I bought almost two years ago, breaks those bonds, like art nearly always transcends the artist; this was art in a bottle!
Shafer, why it's a "go to" winery.
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