Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2011
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.
As Napa Valley’s third most planted grape, Napa Valley Merlot shows time and time again its potential to produce exceptional results. Napa’s vaunted combination of climate, soil and the human factor of winemaking expertise lead to big, ripe, cellar-worthy and world-class versions.
Whether made by itself in single varietal bottlings or as an important role in Bordeaux Blends, Merlot continues a prominent role in this famous region. While Cabernet typically takes the lead role, Merlot’s contribution—even at 10% to 20% or so—is significant indeed. Often described as “the flesh on Cabernet’s bones,” Merlot lends a soft, round and plush character that beautifully complements Cabernet’s linear, full-throttle structure. Its flavors of plums plus subtle herbs and mint also dovetail nicely with Cabernet’s blackberry and cassis.