Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 1.5L
Shafer Vineyards traces its beginnings to 1972 when John Shafer left a 23-year career in the publishing industry and, with his family, moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a second career in wine. After purchasing a 210-acre estate in Napa Valley's Stags Leap District, the Shafer family faced the arduous task of replanting the existing vineyards, which dated to the 1920s, and terracing the steep and rocky hillsides, eventually expanding vineyard acreage to its current 50 acres. Evolving from grape growers to vintners, the Shafers crushed their first Cabernet grapes in 1978 and began construction on their winery a year later.
The first Shafer Cabernet became a benchmark, winning the acclaimed San Francisco Vintners Club taste-off upon release and, over a decade later taking first place in an international blind tasting held in Germany, where it outranked such wines as Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateau Palmer. Doug Shafer became winemaker in 1983 after graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. A year later Elias Fernandez joined the winery as assistant winemaker. Together Doug and Elias have worked closely to forge the Shafer style of quality, consistency and elegance.
The Hillside Select is made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Shafer's rugged hillside vineyards in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District. On release the wine offers rich elegance, youthful exuberance, and fine balance introducing itself with enticing, vivid aromatics. In the glass you’ll find complex flavors of blackberry, cassis, black cherry, dark chocolate, smoke, spice, savory herbs and a touch of vanilla. The tannins are ripe offering refined texture, holding out great promise for decades of cellar age. Considered by Shafer to be a "wine of a place," in the European sense of the word, this Cabernet exemplifies the richness and suppleness consistently produced in the heart of Stags Leap District. Hillside Select is aged a full four years prior to release (three years in Alliers and Tronçais oak barrels and 15 months in the bottle). While enjoyable today, this wine will gain richness and maturity with up to 20 years of careful cellaring.
|Appellation||Stags Leap District|
James Suckling"Wonderful floral aromas with perfumed roses plus hints of blackcurrants and spearmint. Full-bodied and so powerful and muscular but always showing the brightness and beauty of fruit. Winemakers say this reminds them of the 1978, their first year. It certainly has the structure - "those tannins" as they put it. Finish is so impressive with tar, iron and spices. Available in September 2017. Try in 2023."
Wine AdvocateThe 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select will probably hit the magic three-digit score, but it is a more backward style of wine, although probably even more concentrated than the 2012, and that's saying something. Fabulous potential of 30-50 years is evident in this profound bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that is inky blue/black to the rim and offers up notes of charcoal embers, scorched earth, blackberries, cassis, blueberries, a hint of coffee, and background barrique smells. Massively concentrated but incredibly elegant and poised, this is a wine of great energy and vibrancy. It is fabulously deep, built like a skyscraper, and set for an incredibly long life. Try not to consume a bottle for at least another 4-5 years and then watch the magic unfold.
Wine SpectatorGraceful and supple, rich and loamy, tilted toward the savory, herbal side of Cabernet, with modest cherry and currant notes. Displays deft balance and hints of anise and underbrush. Complex throughout. Drink now through 2030. 2,400 cases made.