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Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP96
  • WE96
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • JS99
  • RP98
  • WS94
  • RP100
  • WE98
  • JS98
  • RP96
  • JS96
  • WS93
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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

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RP 96
Robert Parker's 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.

A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt current to produce cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó, and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

Cinsault

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Cinsault is a charmer in the Rhone River Valley, offering up generous peppery and floral aromas and ripe strawberry flavors to its blends. It actually has been grown for centuries in the Languedoc and is a popular blending grape in most appellations of the Southern Rhone as well as other parts of the southern France. It thrives in any hot and windy climate, and finds success in many other countries, namely California, Chile, Corsica, Lebanon, northern Africa and is a parent grape alongside Pinot noir, of South Africa’s acclaimed red grape, Pinotage.

In the Glass

Though a minor portion of Chateauneuf du Pape, it plays an important role adding softness, lift, spice and an almost electric red fruit to blends. Southern France also makes some delightful Cinsault dominant rosés. On its own, it is supple, fresh and fruity with a hint of pepper or baking spice.

Perfect Pairings

Cinsault pairs well with stews, gamey meats, rosemary chicken and roasted duck or winter squash.

Sommelier Secret

Given its relatively long history in California, Cinsualt is often “hidden” in the Zinfandel blends of Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties. Historically planted alongside Zinfandel and other grapes, such as Petite Sirah or Mourvedre in the same vineyard, Cinsault is now an essential part of these so-called “field blends.”

ARP120369_1997 Item# 120369

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