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Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2005
The 2005 Hillside Select is dark and voluptuous with rich density, balancing elegant, extracted fruit and youthful power. These are the signature aromas and flavors of our hillside vineyards – loads of blackberry, black cherry, cassis, dark chocolate, and black spice integrated seamlessly with vanilla and oak, all drawn together by silky-textured, ripe tannins. This is a vintage that I'd compare to 1994 and 1997.
From a modest beginning of 1,000 cases in 1978, the winery has grown steadily until reaching its present size of 32,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sangiovese and Syrah. Today Shafer wines are available in major markets nationwide and in many foreign markets.
External Reviews for Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select
An absolute joy, and a very great success for this vintage, which produced so many disappointing Cabernets. Unusually dark. Begins closed, but swirling brings out cassis and loads of smoky oak. Dense and lush, it's incredibly long on flavor, with fabulous intensity. The reputation of this collector's wine is undiminished.
A monumental wine, bold, rich, smooth and concentrated, with layers of ripe black cherry, currant, plum, anise and blackberry. A mix of ultraripe fruit with a measure of elegance and finesse, its tannins are supple and seamless. Best from 2005 through 2015.
There are 2,000 cases of what is undeniably one of the New World's most profound Cabernet Sauvignons, Shafer's Hillside Select. It is one-hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 32 months in 100% new French oak (the majority being Taransaud). It is quintessentially Stags Leap, with a Margaux-like elegance as well as the power and layered, textured opulence that comes from northern California's sweet fruit. The 1999 Hillside Select reveals an opaque purple color, and a structured, tannic feel in the mouth with tremendous density of fruit, full body, enviable purity, and a remarkable finish. Hints of lead pencil shavings intertwined with vanilla, minerals, and black fruits cascade from the glass. This classic will be at its finest between 2006-2025.
Shafer is at the top of its game, producing a limited, but very impressive array of wines that merit significant interest. I have previously extolled the virtues of the 1992 Hillside Select prior to its release, and now that it is in the marketplace, it is every bit as fabulous as I had hoped. It possesses an opaque dark purple color, and a fabulous, already complex nose of minerals, ripe cassis fruit, cedar, chocolate, and subtle herbs. Full-bodied yet silky, with layers of concentrated, highly extracted fruit, this wine is exceptionally well balanced, beautifully pure and already delicious. It is still an infant in terms of development, but I would not fault anybody for wanting to drink it. Anticipated maturity: now-2012.
The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is unquestionably a top success for the vintage. The harvest occurred in mid-October, one of the latest ever for Shafer. This dense ruby/purple-colored 1998 offers a sweet nose of black currants, minerals, tobacco, and toasty oak. Impressive intensity, medium to full body, wonderful sweetness, a fleshy mid-palate, and stunning length make for an unbelievable effort in this irregular year. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2020.
Shafer's signature wine is 100% Cabernet, produced from the best lots of grapes grown on Shafer's hillside vineyards above the winery. A reserve wine of limited production, it is a wine of a place, exemplifying the richly concentrated fruit and velvety texture of Stags Leap district fruit. Aged a full four years - two years in French oak - prior to release, it is a collector's wine, showing rich chocolate, blackberry and currant flavors.
Since 1991, Shafer's Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon has unquestionably been one of the top dozen or so California Cabernets. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged 32 months in 100% French oak casks (the majority Taransaud), it possesses the elegance and finesse one would expect from the Stag's Leap area, but also monumental power, richness, and intensity.
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