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SHAFER CABERNET SAUVIGNON "HILLSIDE SELECT" STAGS LEAP DISTRICT NAPA VALLEY 2011
Possibly the Cabernet Sauvignon of the vintage, is Shafer’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select. Last year I thought it was a strong effort, but it’s even better now that it’s been bottled. With opaque black/purple color and notes of subtle burning charcoal embers, blueberry, blackberry and graphite, the wine has a certain Bordelais minerality, but then the richness of Napa kicks in. It’s full-bodied (somewhat unusual for a 2011) with lighter tannins, and no doubt the wine will be on a faster evolutionary track than vintages such as 2010, 2012 and 2013. Nevertheless, the Shafers and Elias said this was the toughest vintage they’d ever experienced. To be able to produce a compelling wine like this is a testament of their extraordinary skills and craftsmanship. This wine can be drunk now, or cellared for another 15-20 years. eRobertParker.com # , #215 (Oct 2014)