Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2007
Dark and muscular, with blackberry and graphite aromas and youthful, concentrated black cherry and mocha fruit that show notes of roasted herb, with a hint of game. Drink now through . 10,000 cases made.
Still turning out one of California's top Merlots, the 2007 Merlot (which merited an identical rating last year) combines the elegance and classicism of the Stags Leap viticultural region with the rich berry and chocolaty fruit of Napa Valley. This sexy, lush, medium-bodied, pure Merlot will offer delicious drinking now and over the next 7-8 years.
15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very ripe, very sweet and awash in very obvious oak, this outgoing wine embraces the Shafer style to a "tee". It is full, fat and fleshy on the palate with layers of mocha, black cherries, vanilla and cream running its length, but it is also a bit hot at the finish with a rise in last-minute tannins that says it would be wise to set it aside for a few years despite its many immediate appeals.