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.
Good bright, full ruby. Blackberry, black cherry, mocha and chocolatey oak on the almost liqueur-like nose. Plush, densely packed and slightly high-toned, but with surprising acidity to energize the very ripe flavors of black raspberry, licorice, coffee, mocha and spices. Finishes with substantial ripe, dusty tannins and compelling early sweetness. Still, I'd want to hold this for at least a few years.