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  • 2001 Shafer - Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select

2001 Shafer - Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
abv 14.9%
  • 100 WA
  • 96 WS
  • 95 IWC
  • 70 JR
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 59032-2001-1500-2B
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 95

    ($175) Saturated ruby. Brooding, pure aromas of cassis, dark chocolate, tobacco, smoke and licorice. Conveys a powerful impression of solidity, and yet the very primary flavors of dark berries, bitter chocolate, graphite, tar and minerals are also quite fresh. This unfolds slowly and builds impressively on the back half, finishing quite suave and fresh. The tannins are firm but not stern, and the persistent fruit flavors are red and quite bright. Possesses a superb structure for long aging in bottle. Expect this one to evolve for 15 to 20 years. A great Napa Valley cabernet, but in need of at least a few years of cellaring.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2006
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 96

    Amazing for its richness, depth and concentration, with a wealth of flavors extending to espresso bean, mocha, dark berry, raspberry and cedar, intense and persistent on the long, detailed finish. An immense wine that's gracefully balanced. 2001 California Cabernet blind retrospective (June 2011). Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Jancis Robinson | Rating: 14

    Dark purplish crimson. Very oaky ? horribly spoilt by oak. Very sweet, alcoholic palate entry. Drying tannins ? still ? on the palate. Caricature wine for sipping not drinking. Extremely hot finish.
    Author: Jancis Robinson
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 100

    The 2001 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is the first of these back-to-back perfect wines from Shafer that, at age 13, is still a baby, but, wow, what an amazing wine. A fabulous growing season produced a wine with inky/purple black color, stunning creme de cassis notes, with additional hints of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, cedar wood and forest floor. It is full-bodied, sensationally concentrated, with a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol. This is a great, monumental Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that is still an infant, at age 13, going on 14. This has got at least three decades of life left in it, and probably won't hit its peak for another 5-7 years.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Author: Austin C
  • Self | Rating: 98

    Author: Bud2123
  • Self | Rating: 99

    Author: SingKevin
  • Self | Rating: 98

    From barrel this wine was special and from bottle it remains so. John Shafer told me that he thought this was the finest wine he had ever made. The 2001 has a deep red color with thick, slow moving, and heavily pigmented legs. Gobs and gobs of sweet chocolaty fruit pervade the wine?s scents and flavors. Ostentatious, sexy oak wraps itself around an intense core of powerful fruit. While this wine is a bit monolithic right now, secondary characteristics of truffle, beef blood, and fine balsamic vinegar become discernable with airing. Tannins are almost an afterthought given how much concentration this wine displays. Oily textured with more than enough acidity to keep the wine light on its feet. 100% Cabernet. This wine is just a joy to drink now but will likely achieve full maturity at the ten-year mark.
    Author: Daniel B
  • Self | Rating: 98

    Perfect balance and 2 minute finish. Stunning.
    Drink Dates: 2009-2020
    Author: JMC22
  • Self | Rating: 99

    This was truly a fantastic wine. Soft and supple. Decanted for 2 hours. Very soft on the palate, leather like. Powerful aromas abound. I will be buying many more bottles. Wow!
    Author: fumanku
  • Self | Rating: 100

    Unknown
    Author: marv
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)

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the Haut-Médoc and Graves in Bordeaux, and Napa and Sonoma in California.

The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.

Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot, which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this Bordeaux blend. These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. First-Growth producers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Margaux consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.

New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like Screaming Eagle, Hundred Acre, Schrader and Scarecrow.

All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 2321 bottles owned
  • 487 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 98
    (Out of 487 collectors)