You can’t argue with perfection. This 100-point Cabernet is a massive, full-bodied vixen that builds on the palate to a crescendo that will leave you reeling. Patience will be its own reward with this picture of perfection.
“Year in year out, [Shafer] is one of the superstar wineries, not only in Napa Valley and all of California, but in the entire world...Today, this is a winery that does everything about as perfect as can be. They have kept their feet, heads and egos grounded, and continue to kick proverbial ass with every vintage.” – Parker In 1972 John Shafer departed his 23 year career in publishing and moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a second career in wine. Fortuitously, he found a 210 acre parcel in the Stags Leap District and set up shop. His first task at hand was that of replanting the vineyards, some of which dated back to the 1920s. The Shafer family crushed their first Cabernet in 1978 and began building their winery the next year. Needless to say, that first release became not only a benchmark but a legend in its own right. Eventually they expanded their beautiful hillside acreage and in 1983, John's son, Doug Shafer, became winemaker after graduating from U.C. Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. Since then, Doug has stepped up to becoming the company's president and has passed the winemaking reins over to Elias Fernandez. From their somewhat modest beginnings, Shafer has blossomed into a world-class estate that is nationally and internationally renowned.
Very deep, vibrant purple-black colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select strides confidently out of the glass with expressive notions of blueberry preserves, Black Forest cake, cassis and cedar chest with touches of pencil lead, licorice, violets and sandalwood plus a an exotic waft of Indian spices. The rich, densely packed, full-bodied palate is at once thrillingly hedonic and perfectly poised, featuring a rock-solid frame of firm, exquisitely ripe tannins and tons of freshness, finishing epically long and with stunning opulence. Bravo!
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is a wine of extraordinary beauty. The purity of the flavors is simply striking, but what really stands out is the wine's mind-blowing balance and total sense of harmony. An exotic mélange of inky blue/purplish fruit, spice, new leather, lavender and licorice build as this sumptuous, dazzling Cabernet Sauvignon shows off its alluring personality. In a word: magnificent!
Pure perfection, the prodigious 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select reveals an even deeper purple/blue hue as well as extraordinary notes of unsmoked tobacco, crushed rocks, graphite, crème de cassis, and blueberries. With a massive, full-bodied profile and a texture that builds incrementally on the palate, it has a stacked mid-palate, ultra-fine (yet lots of them) tannins, flawless balance, and a monster of a finish. It’s tight and closed at the moment, so hide bottles for a solid 7-8 years. It should age at a glacier pace.