I've oftened been caught absorbed in thought about my past experience with the 2002 Shafer Hillside Select, which for the last year and a half has been the wine i've been chasing...or, in other words, after tasting hundreds more wines I haven't found anything comparable. Though granted, i've only tasted a handful of wines in the $200+ price range. Unfortunately, this is also a former wine spectator wine of the year, so at the current price of $400.00 or so, it's not exactly easy to stock up.
So, at my birthday dinner this year I had the opportunity to try my 2nd career Hillside Select, this time a 2006. I found it a bit more toward the new world in style. Fruit-focused, higher alcohol, etc. Still, the fruit manages to be complex and very enjoyable, almost on its own. I can also safely say, that reading Snooth over recent months helped me and the table get the most out of this wine. Mid-way through I noticed the wine getting too hot in temperature, and as a result the alcohol was becoming more pronounced, so I had the waitress put it in a fridge in the back for 10-15 minutes. When it came back, it was showing significantly better, and everyone (except me) was very pleasantly surprised. Of course, I pretty much knew for a fact it was going to be a lot better once it cooled down a bit.
While the 02' Hillside Select still holds the highest place in wines i've drunk, and I have to believe flirts with perfection, the 06' was satisfying in its own right, even if a few or more points lower on balance.
2006 Shafer Hillside
- Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jul 25, 2011.
This is a great post. Love the way it captures so much of what surrounds wine. Glad you enjoyed your SHS #2. That 02 was the last one I've tried, quite a bottle of wine!
- Reply by dmcker, Aug 1, 2011.
Ditto to Greg's comment. Though I've yet to have my first Shafer I was almost getting a feel for it....