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Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

  • JS99
  • RP98
  • WE98
  • TP95
  • WS94
750ML / 15.5% ABV
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4.8 10 Ratings
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4.8 10 Ratings
750ML / 15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2013 Hillside Select is a rich, expansive wine balanced by liveliness and energetic aromas and flavors. This vintage is a liquid feast of black cherry, dark chocolate, briar fruit, black tea, cola, blackberry, tobacco, and a touch of aromatic herbs. All this abundance comes wrapped in slate minerality while wearing its Stags Leap District tannins with silky ease. This 100% hillside Cabernet Sauvignon but it is sure to offer greater riches with time in your cellar.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 99
James Suckling
Wonderful floral aromas with perfumed roses plus hints of blackcurrants and spearmint. Full-bodied and so powerful and muscular but always showing the brightness and beauty of fruit. Winemakers say this reminds them of the 1978, their first year. It certainly has the structure —"those tannins" as they put it. Finish is so impressive with tar, iron and spices. Available in September 2017. Try in 2023.
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select will probably hit the magic three-digit score, but it is a more backward style of wine, although probably even more concentrated than the 2012, and that’s saying something. Fabulous potential of 30-50 years is evident in this profound bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that is inky blue/black to the rim and offers up notes of charcoal embers, scorched earth, blackberries, cassis, blueberries, a hint of coffee, and background barrique smells. Massively concentrated but incredibly elegant and poised, this is a wine of great energy and vibrancy. It is fabulously deep, built like a skyscraper, and set for an incredibly long life. Try not to consume a bottle for at least another 4-5 years and then watch the magic unfold.

Rating: 98+

WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
Among the Napa Valley’s most crowning achievements in Cabernet, this vintage of Hillside Select is stunning, bright and beguiling in every way. Intensely layered, its interwoven flavors burst in black licorice, dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, gun smoke and garrigue. Spicy oak adds to the power and weight. Drinkable now, it will show even greater finesse in time; enjoy best 2023–2033 and possibly beyond.
Cellar Selection
TP 95
Tasting Panel

Fragrant with plum and rich flavors of toasty oak; lush texture and complexity; elegant and concentrated, long and balanced; a Napa Valley superstar aged 32 months in 100% new 60-gallon French oak barrels. 

WS 94
Wine Spectator
Graceful and supple, rich and loamy, tilted toward the savory, herbal side of Cabernet, with modest cherry and currant notes. Complex throughout. Drink now through 2030.
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Shafer

Shafer Vineyards

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Shafer Vineyards, California
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Shafer Vineyards in Napa Valley, California, is an iconic family-owned winery, named one of the top 25 vineyards in the world by wine publication Wine & Spirits and “one of the world’s greatest wineries” by wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr.

Since 1978 the Shafer family has produced wine in the Stags Leap District, one of the most highly-regarded winegrowing regions within Napa Valley.

Shafer’s wines, including its signature wine, Hillside Select, are found in collectors’ cellars and on wine lists in top hotels and restaurants throughout the world.

The small winery is managed by father and son team John and Doug Shafer. Elias Fernandez is winemaker. Shafer cultivates more than 200 acres of estate vineyards, sources for Shafer’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Syrah.

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Stags Leap District

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Legend has it that quick and nimble stags would escape the indigenous hunters of southern Napa Valley through the landmark palisades that sit just northeast of the current city of Napa. As a result, the area was given the name, Stags Leap. While its grape-growing history dates back to the mid-1800s, winemaking didn’t really take off until the mid-1970s after a small but pivotal blind tasting called the Judgement of Paris.

When a 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon won first place against its high-profile Bordeaux contenders, like Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Haut-Brion, international attention to the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley escalated rapidly.

The vineyards in this one-of-a-kind wine growing region receive hot afternoon air reflecting off of its eastern palisade formation. In combination with the cool evening breezes from the San Pablo Bay just south, this becomes an optimal environment for grape growing. While many varieties could thrive here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate with virtually no others, save for a spot or two of Syrah.

Stags Leap soils—eroded volcanic and old river sediments—encourage well established root systems and result in complex, terroir-driven wines. Stags Leap District reds have a distinct sour cherry and black berry character with baking spice and dried earth aromas, and supple tannins.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

MPS269253_2013 Item# 269253