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Hillside Select is sourced from a collection of 14 small vineyard blocks planted within an eons-old amphitheater-like structure of rock and volcanic soil that surrounds the winery. Thanks to scant soil nutrients and moisture, yields at harvest are meager and the berries are small, about the size of blueberries. This Stags Leap District site’s combination of rugged, arid soil and climate results in lush Cabernet Sauvignon fruit with dark color and intense, classic flavor. Only 2400 cases produced. 100% Shafer’s Hillside Estate Vineyards in Stags Leap District including the vineyard blocks Sunspot, John’s Upper 7, Venado Ilegal, and Firebreak.
Shafer Vineyards is a 30,000 case winery in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District managed by the legendary 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, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.
It's important to recognize that Shafer is still a family operation and the family remains very much hands-on. The total production at Shafer is significantly less than many of the large, well-known commercial brands. You can taste the difference.
Aging: 32 months in 100% new 60-gallon French oak barrels (Allier and Tronçais)
Tasting Notes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. From the ideal 2016 vintage comes a rich, profound expression of Hillside Select that is lifted, fresh, and vibrant. This Cabernet Sauvignon fills the glass with aromas of blackberry, cassis, currant, wet stone, chocolate, briar fruit, and allspice. In the momentous mouth, from a foundation of lush, dark fruit, there emerges juicy red plum, raspberry, black pepper, and touches of lavender and anise. The tannins are ripe and silky, ready for right-now drinking, while offering the promise of beautiful things to come with cellaring. The finish stays with you both in the mouth and in the memory for a long, long time.
Very deep, vibrant purple-black colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select strides confidently out of the glass with expressive notions of blueberry preserves, Black Forest cake, cassis and cedar chest with touches of pencil lead, licorice, violets and sandalwood plus a an exotic waft of Indian spices. The rich, densely packed, full-bodied palate is at once thrillingly hedonic and perfectly poised, featuring a rock-solid frame of firm, exquisitely ripe tannins and tons of freshness, finishing especially long and with stunning opulence. Bravo! ~100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is a wine of extraordinary beauty. The purity of the flavors is simply striking, but what really stands out is the wine's mind-blowing balance and total sense of harmony. An exotic mélange of inky blue/purplish fruit, spice, new leather, lavender and licorice build as this sumptuous, dazzling Cabernet Sauvignon shows off its alluring personality. In a word: magnificent! ~ 100 Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Pure perfection, the prodigious 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select reveals an even deeper purple/blue hue as well as extraordinary notes of unsmoked tobacco, crushed rocks, graphite, crème de cassis, and blueberries. With a massive, full-bodied profile and a texture that builds incrementally on the palate, it has a stacked mid-palate, ultra-fine (yet lots of them) tannins, flawless balance, and a monster of a finish. It’s tight and closed at the moment, so hide bottles for a solid 7-8 years. It should age at a glacier pace. ~100 Jeb Dunnuck
A very complex nose here with fresh notes of violets, blueberries, cassis and forest-wood. The palate has a striking sense of power and purity with layers of glossy, ripe, fine tannins, interspersed with fresh blackcurrant and blueberry flavors. Impeccable poise and focus. Mouthwateringly fresh. Drink or hold. ~98 James Suckling
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