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Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE 96
  • RP 96
  • V 93
  • WS 91
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Winemaker Notes

Just when we thought this one would never grow up, we find it moving past primary fruit with elegant characteristics of cedar, tea and tobacco. Even so, expect the '97 to remain lively for a few years to come as it still offers big mouthfeel, dark color, with flavors of chocolate and black fruit. A long finish of mocha, vanilla and spice is tied up with the classic tannins of the Stags Leap District.

Critical Acclaim

WE 96
Wine Enthusiast

Saturated ruby. Inky aromas of black and bitter cherry, menthol and nut skin. Dense, thick and supple, with powerful underlying structure; still rather imploded on the palate but this possesses explosive fruit. Great fat and richness. Essence of Stags Leap cabernet. Finishes very long, with lush, thoroughly ripe tannins. A great young California cabernet.

RP 96
The Wine Advocate

Very deep garnet colored with a hint of purple, this has a powerful nose of blackcurrant cordial, kirsch and prunes with plenty of baking spices and dark chocolate. Very big, full and rich in the mouth, it has a firm level of velvety tannins, crisp acid and a very long finish.

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V 93
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

Healthy saturated dark red. Very deep, musky, alluring aromas of roasted plum, dark cherry, nutty oak, mocha, leather and truffle. A seriously outsized Napa Cabernet with a compellingly plush texture but still with a juicy shape to it. This slightly warm wine can't quite match the 1995 for complexity or energy but it makes for a mouthfilling meal substitute. Slightly dusty tannins reach the incisors.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Aging nicely, mature yet structured, with dried currant, mineral, sage and dusty cedary oak. Keeps its focus on the core earth and currant flavors. Still deep and intense, with persistent flavors.

Shafer Vineyards

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Shafer Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
John Shafer and his family founded Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, in 1979. From the Shafers' first wine, a 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon, their wines have won much acclaim. Today, the Shafers farm 200 acres of vineyard in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Oak Knoll regions. Their flagship wine, Hillside Select, is produced from selected blocks of the family's hillside vineyards and is 100% Cabernet... View More