(94 points) The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is a candidate for wine of the vintage. It continues to gain weight, and is better each time I retaste it. Its opaque purple color is accompanied by gorgeous aromas of graphite, vanilla, black currant liqueur, and minerals. This rich, full-bodied Cabernet offers sweet tannin, a layered texture, and a finish that lasts for 45-50 seconds. It is a splendid accomplishment in a difficult vintage. Anticipated maturity: now-2017.
In most vintages there are 2,000 cases of what is undeniably one of the New World's most profound Cabernet Sauvignons, Shafer's Hillside Select. It is one-hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 32 months in 100% new French oak (the majority being Taransaud). It is quintessentially Stags Leap, with a Margaux-like elegance as well as the power and layered, textured opulence that comes from northern California's sweet fruit. Wine Advocate #142 Aug 2002