Wine Advocate 100 points - Amazing from first sip to last, remarkably complex, layered and textured, smooth and supple, with a seductive creamy mocha oak presence to the long, expansive aftertaste, where the flavors cascade on top of one another and excite with anise and cedar. Drink now through 2032. From California.-J.L.
(Barrel Tasting: 98-100) The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is not in bottle, but it looks like another three-digit wine in the making. It tips the scales at a lofty 15.3% natural alcohol, but tasters will never feel any “heat” tasting it. This is a beauty, with crème de cassis notes intermixed with spring flowers, a touch of toasty oak, blackberries, blueberries and cassis, as well as licorice, vanillin and a full-bodied mouthfeel. At this stage, it is more voluptuous and opulent than the 2010, simply because that’s the hallmark style of the 2012. No doubt this is a 30- to 50-year wine if you want to cellar it properly and nibble on it over a long period of time, but it will be much more approachable in its youth than most Hillside Selects tend to be. This is, once again, a fabulous effort.
|Wine maker notes
|Hillside Select is a wine of a place, produced each vintage from carefully selected blocks of the hillside vineyards surrounding the winery. These grapes are small and deeply colored, with concentrated flavors enhanced by meticulous winemaking and extensive aging in French oak barrels. Hillside Select consistently expresses the voluptuous fruit, rich flavors and velvety texture that characterize grapes grown in Stags Leap District.
|Shafer Vineyards is a 30,000 case winery in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District managed by the father and son team of John and Doug Shafer. The Shafer family owns and farms 200 acres of vineyards, sources for Shafer’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah.