Named for an old International Harvester TD-9 Model tractor that John Shafer—who knew nothing about farming when he moved to the Napa Valley—taught himself to drive and maintain in the 1970s. This is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet with a splash of Malbec from Shafer’s estate vineyards in Yountville, Stags Leap, and the Vacas just south of Stags Leap. Galloni noted “A burst of red cherry, plum, lavender, rose petal and spice lead into the silky, super-polished finish.” Not to be missed!
“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.
The 2016 TD-9 exudes raciness and total class, along with a bit better balance than the 2015 tasted along side it. In 2016, winemaker Elias Fernandez aged the components together, which, along with the natural pedigree of the vintage, goes a long way in shaping the wine's striking quality. A burst of red cherry, plum, lavender, rose petal and spice lead into the silky, super-polished finish.
The 2016 Red Blend TD-9 is blended of 58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec. It has a very deep purple-black color and displays ready-for-biz, fragrant scents of warm plums, Black Forest cake and blueberry compote with touches of baking spices, bay leaves and potpourri. Full-bodied with a serious, firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins, the palate delivery loads of black fruit and spicy layers with bags of vivacity and panache.