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2006 Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select
(96 Points) The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, which was just released, is a stunningly rich effort displaying notes of licorice, cassis, camphor and subtle toast along with a full-bodied, powerful texture and richness. Very pure with surprisingly sweet tannins for a 2006, itâ€™s long finish lasts over 40 seconds. It should drink well for 25 years.
While still renowned for their portfolio of classic world-class reds, Shafer also turns out a terrific non-malolactic Chardonnay from the Red Shoulder Ranch. The only dramatic change made over recent years is that instead of 100% being barrel-fermented and oak-aged, 25% is now aged in stainless steel which has added freshness and possibly longevity. Introduced several years ago, the Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five cuvee is aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. It is meant to be a reference point Cabernet from Stags Leap priced lower than Shaferâ€™s limited production, usually monumental Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon. Shaferâ€™s flagship offering is their monumental Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select (about 2,000 cases produced). Always 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for at least 30 months in oak, this is one of Napaâ€™s most profound wines. Since 1999, Shafer has made a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend (usually 80% of the former and 20% of the latter) aged 32 months in 100% new French oak. The first vintage, the 1999 Relentless, which they opened at the winery to show how well it is aging, is still a baby at age 11. I rated it 96 points, which is higher than the 93 points I gave it in 2002. So much for California Syrah not aging well! The 1999 is still intense with a plum color and lots of grilled meat, herb, licorice and spice characteristics. Wine Advocate # 192, Dec 2010
List Price: $295.00
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