Celebrating 30 years of consistent quality and both critical and commercial success, this family run winery remains one of the most admirable operations in California. The Shafers have had tremendous success with their Relentless, which was first released in 1999. A blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Petite Sirah that spends 32 months in 100% new French oak, it is a remarkably consistent offering that rarely displays much oak. The Syrah is from Napa’s cool-climate Oak Knoll sector. One of the world’s most prodigious Cabernet Sauvignons is Shafer’s 2,000-case cuvee called Hillside Select. Always 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% new French oak for a whopping 32 months, it boasts a gorgeous track record dating back to the early nineties, and just about every recent vintage has flirted with perfection"
Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L Magnum) 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Hillside Select is made of 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon fruit sourced from rugged hillside vineyard blocks on our Stags Leap District Estate. Truly a "wine of a place," this Cabernet exemplifies the extraordinary richness and suppleness consistently produced in our little valley within a valley.
Hillside Select is aged a full four years prior to release (three years in Alliers and Tronçais oak barrels and one year in the bottle). While enjoyable today, this wine will gain richness and maturity with up to 20 years of careful cellaring.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select continues to put on weight, and displays a Bordeaux-like personality because of the vintage's cool growing season. A black purple color, stunningly sweet fruit, and a gorgeous bouquet of underbrush, forest floor, creme de cassis, lead pencil shavings, and toasty barrique are found in this ripe, full-bodied, deep, stunningly well-balanced, substantial wine with undeniable complexity as well as richness. It is approachable now, but promises to evolve for 25 or more years.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby-red. Pure, vibrant aromas of blackberry, cassis, lead pencil, violet, licorice and minerals. Wonderfully fine-grained and deep, with sharp definition and lovely floral high notes to the flavors of blueberry, cassis and spice. Finishes with noble, suave tannins and outstanding slow-building length. This 100% cabernet wine has all the elements to make an outstanding bottle. Winemaker Fernandez, who rates it with the 2002 and 2001 as his favorites among recent vintages, described the crop level of 2.5 tons per acre as "on the high side" and the largest since the '97, which came in at over 3.0. 94-97"
Wine & Spirits - "The texture is often what sets Hillside Select apart from other Napa Valley cabernets, the gentleness of its tannins managing to maintain the wine's shape and contour without flattening out. It appears to be seamless, sleek in the best sense of the word-a luxurious wine that feels authentic. Part of that is the cool, foresty mushroom flavor at the heart of the tannin; another part the beautiful balance between the tannins and the layers of dark fruit. A fine vintage of Hillside Select, this glows with the contemporary ripeness of Napa Valley cabernet without overreaching."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Nothing short of bombastic and simply brimming with very ripe currants and extravagant oak, Shafer's flagship is again a wine of admirable richness and size with little regard for subtlety or restraint. It is gloriously full and close to unctuous in feel yet is never less than remarkably balanced for the big-bodied wine that it is, and, it is on the strength of balance combined with its extract and depth that this one guarantees five to ten years of improvement."
Wine Spectator - "Generous ripe plum, black cherry and currant flavors are supple and focused, complex and balanced. Full-bodied and focused, ending with a long, layered finish that picks up anise, cedar and mineral notes. Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasted three times, with consistent notes. Drink now through 2018. 2,400 cases made."
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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 granted 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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