Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, 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.
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The Wine Advocate - "One of the world’s great wines and profound expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select. This wine spends more than 30 months in 100% new oak, and, year in year out, has been one of the most singular and profound examples of Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. It seems Shafer began to ratchet up performance during the 1990s, and the first decade of the 21st century has provided a treasure trove of either perfect or nearly perfect wines, including the 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and more recently the 2010, 2012 and, in all likelihood, the 2013. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select (about 2,000 cases produced) is another one of those “wow” wines, but it does it with a sort of measured richness and restraint and extraordinary subtle character, like the Gary Cooper of Napa Cabernet Sauvignons – authentic, tall, straight-boned, but substantial and worthy of introspection. Inky purple, with a classic nose of creme de cassis, licorice, a touch of vanilla and forest floor, the wine hits the palate with a gorgeous display of measured, but substantial fruit, body and intensity. Not a component is out of place, and the wine remarkably pure and persuasive. Combine great winemaking with great viticulture and a special terroir, and this is the result. Readers are in the presence of genius when tasting this wine."
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."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Dark, bright red. Very fresh on the nose but more reserved and much less explosive today than 2004, offering aromas of black cherry, cassis, dark spices and licorice. Then superconcentrated and tactile on the palate, conveying a lower-pH impression than the 2004. This extremely intense wine still needs time in the cellar to open--and to absorb its vibrant acidity--but the tannins here are fully ripe and suave. Still a bit youthfully stunted but a wine of outstanding energy and incipient savory complexity, with a great future ahead of it. Rating: 94(+) Points."
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."
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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 unto 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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