Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Grilled or roasted lamb, duck, beef and game; dishes featuring roasted red peppers or carmelized onions; seasonings of basil, mint or rosemary. Aged, full-flavor cheeses are also complementary.
Muscular and tightly wound, yet beautifully focused and proportioned, dense and chewy, delivering rich layers of dried currant, blackberry, spice and licorice flavors. Demands cellaring. Best from 2014 through 2028.
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is quite structured. Even with its firm tannins, though, the wine shows gorgeous depth and sheer power. The 2008 isn't a wine with early appeal, but it shows off tons of muscle and sheer depth. Dark fruit, leather, licorice, spices and tar inform the muscular, virile finish. The 2008 will require patience but its explosive personality virtually ensures it will be a rock star in a few years' time. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028.
Rich and fragrant, this wine has all the succulent depths of black currant fruit and layers of savory, chocolate-scented tannins that cult cabernets have tried to emulate and perfect. Since 1978, this series of rocky knolls under the Stag's Leap Escarpment have produced one of Napa Valley's signature red wines; the generosity and concentration come naturally. This is a vibrant 2008, one that reaches over the top while staying grounded, earthy and real.
Dark red. Highly perfumed scents of redcurrant, wild sage, licorice, spices and vanillin oak. Then vibrant but a bit pinched in the mouth, with firm acidity accenting the wine's herbal and salty elements. Narrower than the preceding three vintages but aromatically complex and full of life. Finishes with slightly dry-edged tannins and a repeating herbal quality. Does this wine have enough fruit to expand with more time in bottle? Rating: 91(+) Points.