2008 Shafer - Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 750ml

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2008 Shafer - Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select
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International Wine Cellar | 93(+?)

(15.5% alcohol; 100% cabernet sauvignon): Good bright, full ruby. Blackberry, black cherry, mocha and chocolatey oak on the almost liqueur-like nose. Plush, densely packed and slightly high-toned, but with surprising acidity to energize the very ripe flavors of black raspberry, licorice, coffee, mocha and spices. Finishes with substantial ripe, dusty tannins and compelling early sweetness. Still, I'd want to hold this for at least a few years.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 168

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Wine Advocate | 96

The estate's 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is one of those rare wines that looks like it will be absolutely delicious pretty much at any point in its life. Super-refined and silky, the 2008 caresses the palate with layers of deeply expressive dark fruit. The 2008 is a wine of exceptional textural finesse and pedigree. According to Doug Shafer, cool weather in the spring resulted in small clusters with high skin to juice ratios, always a plus for high quality wines. Today the 2008 does not look like a huge Hillside Select, but is rather a wine built on polish and elegance. It will be interesting to see if the 2008 fills out in bottle, or it remains more restrained in its personality. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.

Drink Dates: 2018-2038
Author: Antonio Galloni
Issue: 204

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Wine Spectator | 96

Muscular and tightly wound, yet beautifully focused and proportioned, dense and chewy, with rich layers of dried currant, black- berry, spice and licorice flavors. Demands cellaring.

Drink Dates: 2014-2028
Author: James Laube


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Score: 96
Author: Stephen G41
Trust Rating: 96
Tasted On: 09/21/2014
A simply superb Cali cab, subtl, rich, great finish. Sorry I don't have a cas of this.
Score: 97
Author: BoxsterVino
Trust Rating: 97
Tasted On: 01/05/2014

About This Producer


John Shafer began working and replanting steep, rocky vineyards in Napa Valley's Stags Leap District in 1972, and has since built Shafer into one of the most sought-after labels from Napa. John, his son Doug, and winemaker Elias Fernandez call themselves farmers, and are proud of it. Doug took over the vineyards in 1989, and within a year began to integrate organic techniques into his vineyards while the term "organic" still elicited sideways looks. "My soils were getting tired," Doug says. "They had been farmed since 1922." He installed solar panels in 2004, and now enjoys watching his batteries send power back to the grid. Elias was hired by Shafer in 1984 and named winemaker in 1994. Shafer Hillside Select is a benchmark wine of the Stag's Leap District, with a string of awards too long to list. Aged a full four years prior to release, it is, in the words of Robert Parker, "One of the world's, as well as Napa's, most profound Cabernet Sauvignons."

Click here to listen to GrapeRadio's podcast about Shafer (Show #93, 32:01 min 15 MB)
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