Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon (torn label) 2006
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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 Advocate - "The 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' Guide - "Among 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 & Spirits - "Like 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 Cellar - "Saturated 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 Spectator - "Complex 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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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.