Of all the great wine Shafer Vineyards produces this delicious Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, which is the only white they make, is always the most consistent. It tends to have a subtle voluptuousness about it meaning the wine is mouth filling with a slightly creamy texture but it's not at all heavy, thanks in large part to the wonderfully high acidity. And the fact that Shafer does not allow it to go through any malolactic fermentation, which is what gives a lot of California Chardonnays their richer, fuller body. It also means that Shafer can be more liberal with its use of oak in its fermentation (75% new French oak) and aging for 14 months, also in 75% new French oak, without imparting intense oak character into the wine. It is a wonderful example of how to use oak as an accent and not an over-riding, interfering element. While the oak is apparent on the nose it is subdued and offers subtle scents of spice and roasted almond as opposed to overt wood from brand new barrels. On the palate, the oak is perfectly integrated with juicy lemon citrus, white peach and Braeburn apple fruit flavors. It has nice concentration without being overly rich or cloying. The acidity on the finish is lively and bright and offers a gentle long lift. If only all Napa Valley Chardonnays tasted so good.