Shafer Napa Valley Merlot Premier 5 2006
This release is marked by its perfumy aromas of dark fruit that push out of the glass. The wine itself fills the mouth with opulent flavors of red and black bramble fruit,licorice, spice, pepper, strawberry and plum. It’s a wine that pairs so well with food, it makes us hungry just tasting it. Flatter Merlot’s fruit by adding a similar element of fruit to poultry, pork and meat dishes (duck breast with dried Cherry-Merlot sauce, roast chicken with cranberry-wild rice stuffing). Carmelized onions,roasted garlic and mushrooms arepleasant companions.
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.
- Tasted 2/27/10
At opening, deep, rich fruit, mostly plum, with earthy, grassy tones, and some motor fuel on the nose. Stays tight until 3 hours after uncorking, then opens up wonderfully at four hours and exhibits sweet and sour medley of red and dark fruit notes, including red cherry, strawberry and plum, with appearances of cinnamon, pepper, cream, earth, and even pencil lead. On the palate, this wine starts tight, acidic, and bland, but opens over time to balanced complexity, with wide array of tastes, supported by increasingly pleasant acidity and silky tannins, both of which support long, chewy interplay of fruity and herbal tastes, including plum, pomegranate, red cherry, wild cherry, cranberry, thyme, pepper, and earth. In time, prune and plum flavors intertwine with apples and cream. Long-lasting peppery finish adds spicy conclusion. Well worth the patience.
External Reviews for Shafer Napa Valley Merlot Premier 5
As the 2001s come out the reds are looking good; this Merlot is evidence of the vintage's quality. It's intense and concentrated, with laserlike blackberry, cherry, and coffee flavors that are so ripe, they're practically sweet. Yet it is a dry, balanced wine, notable for the quality of its tannins.
Smooth-textured, with ripe cherry, plum, herb, olive and fresh earth, all well-focused and elegant, with fine-grained tannins. Exceptional balance. Drink now through 2006.
Smooth-textured, with polished currant, mocha, cranberry and cherry, plus touches of tobacco, coffee and spice. A bit tough-edged with tannin, but certainly not out of line for a young wine. Best from 2003 through 2009.
Deep red-ruby. Red berries, exotic spices, violet, coffee, cola and smoky oak on the nose. Sweet, supple and nicely concentrated, with sappy raspberry flavor enlivened by ripe acids. Delicious, fruit-driven merlot. Finishes bright and persistent, with ripe tannins and a note of chocolate.
Full, rich and generous, with complex currant, chocolate and herb aromas and flavors shaded by sweet oak. A lively wine, with deep flavors and pretty spice notes on the finish. The tannins are present, but not intrusive. 11% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon.
This is one of the most beautiful Merlots of the vintage. It's hard to describe the depth of aroma and flavor. Blackberry and cassis, violets and a lush overlay of smoky oak doesn't do it justice. Sumptuous, complex tannins and a brilliant, velvety texture and an unending finish also suggest the real deal. Delicious.
The 1999 Merlot (a blend of 81% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Cabernet Franc) reveals a cold growing season character, ripe cherry fruit, good acidity, notes of tobacco and spice, medium body, light to moderate tannin, and smoky oak in the background. It will require time to flesh out.
Food Pairings for Shafer Napa Valley Merlot Premier 5
Dietary Information: Organic
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