Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
This Hillside Select emerges from the bottle with a striking balance of dark, elegant fruit and youthful power. These are the aromas and flavors our hillside vineyards have delivered for more than 30 years – loads of blackberry, black cherry, cassis, dark chocolate, and black spice integrated seamlessly with vanilla and oak, all drawn together by silky-textured, ripe tannins.
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Wine Enthusiast - "A perfect score has to be considered in the context of its region. Shafer's 2004 Hillside Select is tremendous as a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that competes with its peers at the highest levels. It's always a fabulous wine, but in warm 2004, Shafer's amphitheater vineyard sheltered the grapes, ripening them to perfection yet protecting the "iron fist in a velvet glove" structure that Andre Tchelistcheff defined as Stags Leap. This 100% Cabernet is tremendous in cassis, black currant and mocha flavors, and the 100% new French oak provides perfect additions of smoke and caramel. It's soft and gorgeous enough to drink now, and should age well in a cool cellar for the next 20 years."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select performed even better this year than it did in 2007. It possesses an inky/ruby/purple color, a juicy perfume of black currants, black cherries, graphite, charcoal, and toasty oak, superb opulence, a fleshy mid-palate, a multilayered mouthfeel, and a dazzling finish. This flamboyant, sexy Hillside Select can be enjoyed now and over the next 20 years."
Wine & Spirits - "Hillside Select has come to define Stags Leap District cabernet; it's a luxury wine that still bears the reality of its place, in this case, a series of small knolls beneath the palisades at Napa Valley's eastern edge. Elias Fernandez coaxes a deliciously ripe wine from those hills, a combination of bright cherry and high-toned florals with bass notes that deepen to the marbled fatty richness of a grilled rib eye. It's dark, succulent and mouthwatering cabernet, hard to resist."
Wine Spectator - "Pure, rich, intense and vibrant, with tight, sharply focused, vivid black cherry, blackberry and black currant fruit that has a nice dusty, loamy edge and ends with a pleasant burst of ripe fruit flavors that are long and persistent."
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John Shafer and his family founded Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, in 1979. From the Shafers' first wine, a 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon, their wines have won much acclaim. Today, the Shafers farm 200 acres of vineyard in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Oak Knoll regions. Their flagship wine, Hillside Select, is produced from selected blocks of the family's hillside vineyards and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Merlot, One Point Five (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Relentless (a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend), which was named #1 wine of the year by Wine Spectator's "Top 100" of 2012. View all Shafer Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.