Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The long cool vintage has endowed this wine with inky, midnight color, perfumy aromas and elegant flavors of black fruit that's rich and juicy down to the core, with enticing layers of cocoa, black tea, spice, subtle toast and the kind of mouthfeel you only get with ripe, silky Stags Leap District tannins. A pleasing overall balance keeps the elements together giving the wine a delicious sense of completeness
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Shafer's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is all high notes. Sweet red plum and cherry notes meld into mint, spice and new leather, all supported by silky, polished tannins that add finesse to the plush fruit. Rich, opulent and beautifully textured throughout, the 2009 is going to provide fabulous, viscerally thrilling drinking pretty much right out of the gate. This is a great Hillside Select. Frankly, I can't imagine anyone who enjoys Hillside Select not wanting the 2009 in their cellar. The persistent, resonant finish is pure sensuality."
Tasting Panel - "Ripe and rich with exquisite plum, blueberry, rich cassis and sweet oak; beautifully structured, built to last with hints of licorice and spice; long, elegant and polished. "
International Wine Cellar - "Deep saturated ruby. Utterly primary aromas of crushed black fruits; still grapey. Fat, sweet and large-scaled, with superb depth to its black fruit flavors. Finishes with substantial tannic clout and superb length. An infant today, this will spend at least another 12 months in barrel before being bottled. Great potential.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "As always a decidedly extravagant wine and one that marches right to the very brink of being too much of good thing, the latest Hillside Select will be frowned upon by those who find unabashed richness and size to be faults and joyously celebrated by those of us who do not. It is powerful stuff that is marvelously deep in near-juicy fruit, and it is lavishly appointed with lovely oak, but for all of its largesse, it is solidly built with the structure to age for years. We have seen how its fully ripe predecessors have flourished with time, and we have no doubt that this one will do the same."
Wine & Spirits - "A ripe vintage of Hillside Select, this wine's mix of sweet fruit and formidable tannins take it in a Porty direction at first. Then the wine brightens with air, emphasizing its spicer side and the succulent textures of its fruit. Put this away for five or six years, to give the wine's power and structure time to merge. "
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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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.