1998 Shafer - Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 750ml

USA - California - Napa - Stags Leap District/ Red / Cabernet Sauvignon   |     Watch

WA 95   WS 92   IWC 90(+?)   Collector 92
1998 Shafer - Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Front View

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Professional Reviews For This Wine

Wine Advocate | Rating: 95

The 1998 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select was produced during a challenging vintage in Napa Valley with an incredible heat wave in mid-July, with temperatures at the Hillside Select property hitting an astonishing 114 degrees. This was brutal for the grapes, but a strict selection, and as Doug and John Shafer said, 'We make no excuses at this winery.' Certainly, this was one of the great successes in this vintage. Very tiny yields from small, rather shriveled berries produced a super-extracted, rich, intense wine that has some smokey barbecue notes along with blackcurrants, cedar wood, wet rocks and background oak and burning embers. There's almost a Graves-like, scorched earth character to this vintage. This medium to full-bodied wine is intense and undeniably one of the top ten wines in Napa Valley. Moreover, it should continue to drink well for another 10-15 years.

Drink Dates: 2014-2029
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 216

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Wine Spectator | Rating: 92

Has lots of richness, depth and complexity, with layers of earthy currant, anise, black cherry and blackberry fruit, showing far more depth and ripeness than most from this vintage. 2,000 cases made.

Drink Dates: 2001-2008
Author: James Laube

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International Wine Cellar | Rating: 90(+?)

Medium ruby. Black cherry and red licorice on the nose; largely avoids the herbal aspect shown by this winery other 1998 reds. Very intense flavors of black cherry, licorice and mint, but still tightly wound, even a bit clenched, and unevolved for a '98. Very long, firm finish hints at mint and exotic Indian spices. The main vineyard component for this super-cuvee produced 3.3 tons per hectare in 1997 but less than 1 in 1998.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 96

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Collector Reviews For This Wine

Author: fred2288
Trust Rating: 91
Tasted On: 05/21/2011
Drink Dates:
Took over an hour to open up, but when it did, it was terrific.

1 of 1 people found this review useful.

Rating: 94
Author: coffeemuse
Trust Rating: 98
Tasted On: 06/13/2014

0 of 1 people found this review useful.

Rating: 92
Author: Billy the Kid
Trust Rating: 90
Tasted On: 03/02/2010

0 of 1 people found this review useful.

Rating: 92
Author: BobT
Trust Rating: 96
Tasted On: 02/20/2011
Smooth tannins, decent fruit and a good wine, but not the depth and complexity of other HSS's. Couldn't tell if we were drinking it late, or if it still may improve. Either way, decant it at least an hour.

1 of 1 people found this review useful.

Rating: 89
Author: Butler wan
Trust Rating: 100
Tasted On: 10/09/2010
Drink Dates: 2009-2018
Purple, with slight bricking at the rim. Big nose of underbrush and black fruits; the palate was more restrained, showing licorice and cassis fruit. Fairly high acid, medium body, oaky, lots of extract and glycerin. Hollowed out a bit on the midpalate, and the finish turned drying. A well made wine, and a good effort in a bad vintage, but there just isn't enough fruit or complexity. Drink now before it dries out further.

1 of 1 people found this review useful.

Average rating: 90, based on 8 reviews
More Vintages and Sizes of Shafer - Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select:

Collector Data For This Wine

1231 bottles owned by 426 collectors.

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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)

Wine Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is perhaps the world's best known red variety, with its full-bodied, intense profile. An offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, it is the primary grape of Bordeaux's Left Bank (Medoc and Graves regions) and the Napa Valley, but can be found growing all over the world. Typical descriptors for Cabernet Sauvignon are cassis, cedar, mint, black pepper, eucalyptus, and pencil lead.

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