A newly opened bottle of 2006 announces itself with lifted, aromatic beauty. The lively, elegant nose is followed in the mouth with a core of juicy, black fruit, chocolate, black plums, cassis, black and red cherry, black tea, and vanilla and spice. Ripe, round, Stags Leap
District tannins put together good structure for very long term aging.
Pair with grilled or roasted lamb, duck, beef and game; dishes featuring roasted red peppers or carmelized onions; seasonings of basil, mint or rosemary. Aged, full-flavor cheeses are also complementary.
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The Wine AdvocateThe 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, which was just released, is a stunningly rich effort displaying notes of licorice, cassis, camphor and subtle toast along with a full-bodied, powerful texture and richness. Very pure with surprisingly sweet tannins for a 2006, it's long finish lasts over 40 seconds. It should drink well for 25+ years.
Connoisseurs' GuideAmong the deepest, most complete Cabernets that we have yet encountered from 2006, Shafer's latest tête de cuvee wins high praise for both concentration and keen focus. Its plentiful blackcurrant fruit dovetails perfectly with its equally generous oak, and it flavors build and build en route a long and wonderfully sustained finish. There is great scale and substance about this one, yet the wine manages to avoid being too much, and it will age famously for ten years or more on the strength of its exceptional balance.
Wine & SpiritsLike the best vintages of Hillside Select, this wine has tremendous structural pwoer that remains almost imperceptible. On the surface, the tannins are pillowy soft, their supple richness surrounding a core of dark fruit. The wine is black, but not hyperextractedthe layers of dark chocolate flavor seem to come from the soil rather than from oak(it's not the sort of mocha or milk chocolate character that oak aging provides). Thsi is a cigar-smoker's cabernet, a powerful, resinous vintage from a vineyard with a track record for wines that age well over ten to 15 years.
International Wine CellarSaturated bright ruby. Rich aromas of dark berries, candied cherry, smoke and tobacco. Sweet, lush and deep, with good clarity and lift in spite of its very ripe, thick texture. Black raspberry and dark cherry flavors are complicated by brown spices. A very sexy and pliant wine that finishes with sophisticated tannins. This already gives great pleasure, even if it doesn't offer quite the fireworks of the best recent vintages.
Wine SpectatorComplex and balanced, in a medium- to full-bodied and delicate manner, with floral, red berry and plum flavors shaded by a touch of mineral and graphite and ending with tannins that display a cedary, woodsy, charry roasted herb edge. Drink now through 2020.
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