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Tasting Notes

WA95

The 1998 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select was produced during a challenging vintage in Napa Valley with an incredible heat wave in mid-July, with temperatures at the Hillside Select property hitting an astonishing 114 degrees. This was brutal for the grapes, but a strict selection, and as Doug and John Shafer said, “We make no excuses at this winery.” Certainly, this was one of the great successes in this vintage. Very tiny yields from small, rather shriveled berries produced a super-extracted, rich, intense wine that has some smokey barbecue notes along with blackcurrants, cedar wood, wet rocks and background oak and burning embers. There`s almost a Graves-like, scorched earth character to this vintage. This medium to full-bodied wine is intense and undeniably one of the top ten wines in Napa Valley. Moreover, it should continue to drink well for another 10-15 years.

WE95

An absolute joy, and a very great success for this vintage, which produced so many disappointing Cabernets. Unusually dark. Begins closed, but swirling brings out cassis and loads of smoky oak. Dense and lush, it's incredibly long on flavor,…


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Shafer brand image

The Winery

Shafer Vineyards

"One of the world's greatest wineries."
- Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

Shafer Vineyards traces its beginnings to 1972 when John Shafer left a 23-year career in the publishing industry and, with his family, moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a second career in wine. After purchasing a 210-acre estate in Napa Valley's Stags Leap District, the Shafer family faced the arduous task of replanting the existing vineyards, which dated to the 1920s, and terracing the steep and rocky hillsides, eventually expanding vineyard acreage to its current 50 acres.

Evolving from grape growers to vintners, the Shafers crushed their first Cabernet grapes in 1978 and began construction on their winery a year later. The first Shafer Cabernet became a benchmark, winning the acclaimed San Francisco Vintners Club taste-off upon release and, over a decade later taking first place in an international blind tasting held in Germany, where it outranked such wines as Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateau Palmer.

Doug Shafer became winemaker in 1983 after graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. A year later Elias Fernandez joined the winery as assistant winemaker. Together Doug and Elias have worked closely to forge the Shafer style of quality, consistency and elegance. From a modest beginning of 1,000 cases in 1978, the winery has grown steadily until reaching its present size of 32,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Syrah.

www.shafervineyards.com



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