Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front LabelShafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Bottle Shot

Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

  • RP98
  • JD98
  • TP97
  • WE96
  • WS95
750ML / 15.5% ABV
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4.6 31 Ratings
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4.6 31 Ratings
750ML / 15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2015 vintage gave us smaller berries packed with an immensity of pure, opulent aromas and flavors. This rich, polished hillside Cabernet Sauvignon overflows with briary black fruit, juicy black cherry, racy dried cranberry, black licorice, and freshly cracked pepper with elegant touches of cedar, baking spice, and wet stone. The finish is generous and persistent, while the tannins are ripe and integrated offering both a pleasurable experience now and the kind of structure that promises even more beauty with time.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Very deep purple-black in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select comes bounding out of the glass with gregarious scents of crème de cassis, warm black cherries, plum preserves and Indian spices with hints of lilacs, garrigue, stewed tea and cigar box plus a waft of charcuterie. Full-bodied, rich, boldly fruited and wildly decadent, it has a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and compelling freshness, finishing with loads of earthy and savory layers. Rating: 98+
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
I was able to taste four vintages of the estate’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, their Hillside Select. This first growth-like cuvée was first made in 1978 and always comes from their estate Hillside Vineyard just above their estate in Stags Leap. This is a 54-acre south-facing, amphitheater-like vineyard of thin, rocky, volcanic soils. Today the cuvée is always 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that spends upwards of 32 months in new French oak. It is consistently one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignons in the world. Starting with their 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, it boasts a deep, saturated purple hue as well as a heavenly bouquet of sweet blueberry and cassis fruits interwoven with plenty of graphite, tobacco, and lead pencil notes, with ample minerality emerging with time in the glass. This was a hot, low-yielding vintage for Napa, and while this beauty is massively concentrated, it’s also silky and seamless, with great tannins, no sense of over-ripeness or heaviness, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. This is a brilliant, incredibly sexy wine to enjoy over the coming 30-40 years.
TP 97
Tasting Panel

I tasted this as a barrel sample at Premiere Napa Valley just over two years ago, and memory holds: I still recall the dense, almost syrup-like quality of black fruit, earth, and sage. Now released into the marketplace, this heralded 100% Cabernet Sauvignon still has time to develop, but after decanting, it proved more than worthy of praise. The fruit comes from Shafer’s best hillside blocks, and given the dry conditions that year, smaller berries resulted in an extracted expression. Opulent aromas of cedar, leather, and coffee bean are almost Cognaclike, and on the palate, peppered licorice and blackberry perpetuate that syrupy density alongside teeth-gripping, chalky tannins. The elegance rises out of the glass once the wine opens up, exhibiting violets, sagebrush, and sweet meat.

WE 96
Wine Enthusiast

Having spent three years in barrel, this 100% varietal wine (from the producer’s famous hillside) is brawny in concentrated black fruit, Christmas spice and thick, firm tannin. A dusty thread of crushed rock, black licorice and flint provide exotic accents to the velvety thick grip. This will do well over time; enjoy best from 2025–2030.

WS 95
Wine Spectator

A big wine waiting to unwind. When it does, the core of steeped plum, blueberry and açaí reduction flavors should stretch out nicely over melted licorice and Black Forest cake elements. A graphite spine holds everything together, while embers of smoldering apple wood flicker through the very long finish. Best from 2022 through 2038.

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Shafer

Shafer Vineyards

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Shafer Vineyards, California
Shafer Vineyards Winery Video

Shafer Vineyards has produced classic Napa Valley wines for more than 40 years.  

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

The vineyard and cellar teams, led by winemaker Elias Fernandez, cultivate more than 200 acres of Shafer-owned vineyards, sources for the winery's celebrated Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, TD-9, One Point Five, Relentless, and Hillside Select. 

The winery has a decades-long commitment to sustainability. Beginning in the 1980s Shafer embraced farming techniques that eliminate insecticides and herbicides, and carefully conserve water resources. In 2004 Shafer became the first winery in the U.S. to go 100% solar. 

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Stags Leap Wine

Napa Valley, California

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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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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.

PBC9396955_2015 Item# 535082

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