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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

Shafer

23 notes Sort by: Vintage - Name - Rating

2013 Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch  (Carneros) 92

Fresh, ripe, sweet, citrus fruits with a tropical accent and vanilla overtones, forward in style, medium bodied, easy to drink today.

2136 Views   Tasted
2013 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 97

Massive, dense, powerful, concentrated, full-bodied and loaded with as much, inky, black and blue fruits as possible, the wine stains your teeth and palate with black and blue fruit, licorice, jam, chocolate, vanilla and smoke. If you like an ocean of fruit in its exuberant youth, you can drink this young. Else give it at least another decade or more to calm down.

4825 Views   Tasted
2012 Shafer Merlot  (Napa Valley) 90

Medium bodied, with loads of ripe, sweet, jammy berries, forward, soft and easy to drink.

3326 Views   Tasted
2012 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 97

Inky in color, the wine pops with licorice, black cherry liqueur, black and blue fruit, smoke and vanilla aromatics. Fat, rich and fleshy, the wine is packed to the gills with incredibly ripe, dark berries, vanilla and chocolate. Shafer Hillside Select is one of the few, higher alcohol wines to improve with age. Give it at least 7 years and your experience should rock.

6740 Views   Tasted
2011 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five  (Stags Leap District) 90

Forward, with jammy red fruits, smoke and cherries, this medium bodied wine is already drinking well.

3181 Views   Tasted
2010 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 96

Massive, powerful, concentrated and loaded to the top with layers of ripe, dark berries, jam, smoke, espresso, vanilla and licorice. Still primary, it is not ready for prime time drinking yet, as everything still needs to come together.

1973 Views   Tasted

Big, bold, powerful, packed, full bodied and dense, this wine is stuffed with licorice, jammy blackberries, smoke and vanilla. This is not for timid wine tasters with all its layers of ripe and over ripe fruits. The finish really packs a punch.

11531 Views   Tasted 97
2010 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five  (Stags Leap District) 93

Deep ruby in color, with notes of licorice, coffee bean, jammy dark berries and chocolate. The fruit is sweet, ripe, round and fresh, forward in style with a long taste of black raspberries in the finish.

3859 Views   Tasted
2009 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 96

Almost too much of a good thing. The massive wall of fruit coats your palate, teeth and gums with perfectly ripe, dark black and blue fruits. The tannins are soft. The wine is concentrated, intense long and powerful.

3426 Views   Tasted

Dark in color, with an intense concentration of flavor that serves up layers of fat, juicy, ripe, blackberries, plum, jam, coffee bean, dark bitter chocolate, smoke and licorice. Mouthfilling, powerful and long, each swirl, sniff and sip delivers the goods!

5977 Views   Tasted 97
2009 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five  (Stags Leap District) 91

Filled with spicy, black cherries and licorice, this forward style of Cabernet Sauvignon is soft, sweet, round and already tasty.

5018 Views   Tasted
2008 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 96

Inky in color, with an intense aroma packed with chocoalte, licorice, jammy plums, spice and earthy scents. Full bodied, powerful and concentrated, the wine ends with a palate filling, opulent, ripe, fat finish.

6640 Views   Tasted
2007 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five  (Stags Leap District) 92

Popped and poured for a summer night BBQ, sweet aromas of ripe boysenberry, licorice, vanilla, coffee bean, smoke and jam made their presence known. Round, juicy, soft and filled with ripe berries, the fat, plush, slightly oaky, sweet finish makes you want another taste. I would not hesitate to pop a cork on this today.

3793 Views   Tasted
2007 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 97

Deep dark, almost inky, black/purple in color, gobs of licorice, blackberry, blue fruit, smoke, coffee, chocolate and vanilla fill your glass. Powerful, dense and packed with layers of perfectly ripe, thick, juicy, black and blue fruit, this intense wine fills your mouth and coats your palate. Opulent in character, this is as good as any of the California Cult wines and sells for a lot less money. While it's expensive, (most California Cabernets are) if you're seeking a top experience with the best California has to offer, this is the wine to buy.

11832 Views   Tasted
2005 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 95

Deep in color, this wine packs a punch with its serious levels of ripe, sweet, fleshy, rich fruit. Licorice, coffee bean, boysenberry, blackberry and jammy scents pop once the cork is out of the bottle. Still young, this intense wine like all vintages of Hillside Select will age for years.

5266 Views   Tasted
2003 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 95

Big, powerful and dense, with layers of ripe, dark berries, licorice, chocolate, smoke and vanilla tinged fruit. Lusciously textured, rich and ripe, this will continue delivering the goods for at least a decade and probably longer.

3415 Views   Tasted
2002 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 97

It's been ages since I last tasted this gem. It is hard to believe, this is almost 18 years old. The color remains dark. The fruit, which has softened over the years, continues to hold on to its youth. The oak is better integrated. But this is still about the power and layers of decadent berries, so I'd wait another few years before popping another cork.

1686 Views   Tasted

Clearly this is the best non cult, cult wine from California. Still deep in color, licorice, jammy blackberry, vanilla, cassis, earth, cocoa and spice scents are made more complex with the massive, intense wall of delicious, juicy, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon that covers your palate. Shafer Hillside Select is one of the few California Cabernet Sauvignon’s that improve and evolve with age. At a fraction of what the big boys costs, if you’re seeking one fo the best wines from the Golden State, look no further.

9666 Views   Tasted 97

Shafer Hillside Select often makes one of the top wine California Cabernets. In 1997, it's a reference point wine. But I did not get that from the 2002. It's not so much quality as it is a stylistic preference. 2002 Hillside Select is packed and stacked with jammy blue and black fruit, brown sugar, tobacco and dark cherry notes. The palate is coated with dense layers of jammy, ripe and over ripe berries. This is a concentrated, powerful wine. The finish shows some heat and thick jammy textures. I have friends that love this wine. While I see the quality, the over the top styling's of this wine make it hard to like. Perhaps it's just too much of a good thing.

10830 Views   Tasted 93
2001 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 98

Perhaps the most elegant, sledge hammer I have ever encountered. There is all the power, purity, tannin and length you could ask for. The layers of black, blue and red fruits just kept on coming, again and again. Seamless, and without any hard edges, the tannins were soft and polished. This is a mouth-coating wine indeed. In magnum, this tasted like it was at least 10 years younger. This is no shy, wallflower of a wine. There is an intensity of flavor that just does not want to quit. Could this be a 50 year wine in the making?

7137 Views   Tasted

Fabulous expression of ripe, very ripe and extremely ripe fruits. Concentrated, intense, lush and rich, yet everything is in balance. Still young, much of its early jammy qualities and over oak influence has faded away, leaving with you loads of sweet, plush fruits. This is no shy sister, the wine is big, powerful and intense, yet refined in its own way.

4019 Views   Tasted 97

The best California Cabernet Sauvignon wines have earned a well deserved reputation for being expensive. Not that Shafer Hillside Select is inexpensive, but it sells for half the price of other Cult wines and on a quality basis, in blind tasting's, it proves time and time again, it's of equal quality with any of the far more pricey wines. Jammy blackberry, smoke, pepper, coffee, blueberry, cassis, truffle, spice and caramel create the complex aromatics. Big, rich and concentrated with waves of juicy, sweet, ripe fruit, the wine ends with a lush, mouth filling finish. The only minor fault is the slight touch of heat in the long finish. Drink now, or over the next 10-15 years.

6483 Views   Tasted 96

This wine had it all. Endless layers of sweet, ripe, black fruit and cassis fruit coat your palate. The perfume was intoxicating. The soft textures and oceans of ripe fruit made for a sublime finish.

2776 Views   Tasted 97
1999 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 96

If fighters are judged on a pound for pound basis, perhaps wines should be looked at on a point for dollar basis. If we use that scale for high end, California Cabernet Sauvignon, it's hard to see any other wine topping Shafer Hillside Select. This had everything I seek in Cab based wines; complex aromas with fresh blackberries, licorice, earth and a touch of oak, rich, lush textures and a long, fresh, ripe, balanced finish that made me want to taste it again and again. Served with a rare steak, I was loving it!

4440 Views   Tasted

Now we're talking! With a beautiful perfume packed with smoke, ripe blackberry, cherry, licorice and an array of spices, the wine is rich, deep, powerful and balanced. Polished tannins and layers of ripe fruits make this a treat to taste. It' s drinking great today. I own a few bottles and do not see any hurry to drink this wine.

4532 Views   Tasted 96

Still young, this deeply colored, corpulent mouthful of dense, juicy, ripe fruit offers everything a great California wine needs. Massive amounts of intense, black fruit are found in every sip. The long, clean, pure finish is a delight to taste. Everything in this wine is in perfect balance.

2642 Views   Tasted 97
1998 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 92

Medium bodied, elegant in style, with good freshness, but lacking the level of depth, concentration and ripeness found in the best vintages. Still, this has nice character and is quite food friendly, mature and easy to drink today.

4247 Views   Tasted
1997 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 98

This has really settled down and morphed into a dynamic, complex and complete tasting experience. The wine is intense and concentrated, balanced and rich, with nuances on the palate that hold through from start to finish. At 20 years of age, this is probably fully mature, but should provide great drinking for at least another decade or longer.

4846 Views   Tasted

Jammy blackberries, blue fruit, smoky cherries and coffee bean notes create the aromatics. The wine is concentrated, fleshy, ripe and packed with plush sweet fruits. This still seems youthful at close 19 years of age.

2598 Views   Tasted 97

From 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this could be the best non cult Cabernet made in America. With stunning levels of concentrated, sweet, ripe, jammy, polished fruit, velvet textures, chocolate, blueberry, smoke, vanilla, boysenberry, blackberry jam, truffle and cherry, this intense wine coats your mouth in flavor and intensity. The finish seems endless. What a treat! This is probably my favorite vintage of this stunning wine yet produced.

7244 Views   Tasted 99

Intense aromatics, purity, depth of concentration and flavor coupled with perfect balance, ripeness, opulence and a long finsh that remained for over a minute makes this wine a stunning experience to taste.

3412 Views   Tasted 99
1996 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 94

Incense, smoke, licorice blackberry and plum aromas are all over the place. The wine is soft, polished and almost feels as if it’s holding something in reserve. But I am not sure further aging is at the end of the day, going to reveal anything new. This is probably fully mature.

6416 Views   Tasted

Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this beautiful wine is filled with truffle, smoke, coffee, blackberry jam, black cherry, olives and cassis. Full boded and packed with juicy, ripe, sweet, dark berries, the wine ends with a long, powerful, intense sensation of blackberries and dark chocolate covered plums. This is drinking perfectly today. While it might not evolve much, there is no hurry to drink it.

4370 Views   Tasted 96
1995 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 96

Full bodied, rich, plush, fat and juicy, the wine is lush, round textured, concentrated, delicious and packed with fruit, plus it's ready to go!

3068 Views   Tasted

Shafer Hillside Select deserves serious consideration as a candidate for the most consistent producer of high end, California Cabernet Sauvignon over the past two decades. The 1995 is right up there with its rich, licorice, black and blue fruit, chocolate personality, dusty tannins and rich black cherry and filled finish. While lacking the levels of concentration found in vintages like 1994, 1997, 2001 or 2002, this is still an outstanding vintage for Hillside Select.

5719 Views   Tasted 96
1994 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District) 97

Licorice, oak and chocolate coated black and blue fruit are found in spades in this concentrated, deep, long, intense wine. The finish goes on and on and on like a Stephen Bishop song. This is such a great style of wine, and while not cheap, for a Napa wine at this level of quality, it's worth the cost of the ticket.

3810 Views   Tasted

Endless waves of complex fruit pour over your palate and please your senses. Still young, this has a great future

1940 Views   Tasted 97
1978 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon  (Napa Valley) 97

Minerality, tobacco leaf, ash, blackberry, plum, smoke, caramel, earth, spice box and coffee notes created a complex bouquet. Rich, intense, concentrated and packed with layers of sweet, ripe, juicy fruit, this delicious wine ended with a finish of close to 50 seconds! I wish I owned a bottle of the majestic elixir. Rumor has it, part of the reason for the wines success was in picking extremely ripe fruit, by accident. The fruit was harvested later than the Shafer's wanted, because they had trouble finding enough pickers for their debut wine.

4136 Views   Tasted