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Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP96
  • WE96
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Just when we thought this one would never grow up, we find it moving past primary fruit with elegant characteristics of cedar, tea and tobacco. Even so, expect the '97 to remain lively for a few years to come as it still offers big mouthfeel, dark color, with flavors of chocolate and black fruit. A long finish of mocha, vanilla and spice is tied up with the classic tannins of the Stags Leap District.

Critical Acclaim

RP 96
The Wine Advocate

Very deep garnet colored with a hint of purple, this has a powerful nose of blackcurrant cordial, kirsch and prunes with plenty of baking spices and dark chocolate. Very big, full and rich in the mouth, it has a firm level of velvety tannins, crisp acid and a very long finish.

WE 96
Wine Enthusiast

Saturated ruby. Inky aromas of black and bitter cherry, menthol and nut skin. Dense, thick and supple, with powerful underlying structure; still rather imploded on the palate but this possesses explosive fruit. Great fat and richness. Essence of Stags Leap cabernet. Finishes very long, with lush, thoroughly ripe tannins. A great young California cabernet.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Aging nicely, mature yet structured, with dried currant, mineral, sage and dusty cedary oak. Keeps its focus on the core earth and currant flavors. Still deep and intense, with persistent flavors.

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Shafer

Shafer Vineyards

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Shafer Vineyards, , California
Shafer
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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

ARP120369_1997 Item# 120369

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