2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Shafer Vineyards

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Average critic rating : 94.0 points



One of the world’s, as well as Napa’s, most profound Cabernet Sauvignons is the 2,000 or so case production of Shafer’s Hillside Select. Made from their finest parcels in Stags Leap, the wine spends nearly 32 months in 100% new oak. This is a wine that usually has 20-30 years of aging potential. 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select (just released) shows some graphite and pain grille notes intermixed with creme de cassis, licorice, camphor, and some spice box. Full-bodied, powerful, with fabulous fruit, silky tannins, and an intense mouthfeel, this is a gorgeous wine to drink over the next 20-25 years. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate December 2007



A big, rich, bold and expansive style, with tiers of dense currant, mineral, earth, black cherry, anise and cedary oak flavors that are intense and concentrated, with the tannins showing a raw edge. Young and rambunctious. Needs lots of air or a little time in the cellar. Best from 2008 through 2013. 2,200 cases made. WineSpectator.com

Consisting of 54 acres on a steep amphitheatre of rock in the Napa Valley, Shafer’s Hillside Estate Vineyard enjoys some of the best growing conditions in the region, receiving the full benefit of south-easterly sunlight, volcanic soils and the breezes that blow up from the San Francisco Bay channel. What results is a truly distinctive and incomparably rich range of wines which are considered by many critics to be some of the finest wines in California.

Founded in 1979 in the Stag’s Leap District of the Napa Valley, Shafer’s first wine – a 1978 Cabernet – won the acclaimed San Francisco Vintners Club taste-off and the estate has been rising in acclaim ever since. Today, they farm approximately 200 acres in Stag’s Leap, Carneros and Oak Knoll, crafting a diverse output of Cabernet-based wines including the One Point Five and their flagship wine, the Hillside Select. In addition, they produce Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, the Shafer Merlot and the Syrah-based Relentless, the latter of which was named wine of the year in The Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2012.

Starting in 1978 with an annual production of approximately 1,000 cases, the winery has grown steadily and today produces around 32,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Syrah per year.

One of Napa’s most prominent and respected wineries, Shafer is a poster boy for remarkable and consistent quality across the board – Robert Parker

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