x
  • Country ranking ?

    81
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Game

The Story

The Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon has that warm, classic Californian flair to it – loads of ripe and jammed black fruits, smooth tannins and mellow acidity. The wines are always big and as Doug Shafer points out “Napa wines are big wines, no point hiding it.” Still baring the Stag’s Leap District’s smooth style, with tannins that are always very gentle and fine-grained, the Hillside Select is voluminous, but in a discreet manner, making it a very enjoyable and flirtatious wine when young.

Terroir
The legendary Hillside Estate Vineyard is comprised of 14 vineyard blocks, varying from one to nine acres in size, on the slopes of an amphitheatre-like hillside. The thin, volcanic rocky topsoil stands on top of bedrock that forms a very low amount of nutrients for vines, thus yielding small grapes with intense flavours. Due to a series of knolls and outcroppings, the vineyard blocks enjoy various microclimates, which generate grape material with complex flavours. Every afternoon the breeze from San Francisco Bay cools the vineyards, allowing the fruit to retain acidity. The vines suffer and have not

 

Philosophy in winemaking
The Shafers are the pioneers of sustainable vine farming, with over 20 years experience. The production is operated using 100% solar power, recycled water and no chemicals.

In the early 1980s we followed the advice of our textbooks from the U.C. Davis winemaking programme and picked early, added acid, etc. Over time we learnt that wine needs to taste good. And we threw out our textbooks and learned to taste the fruit and let the fruit tell us when to pick and also what style of wine it wanted to become. Obviously I hope the future will be about wines that are produced with authenticity, wines that remain true to their site of origin. However, the fact is the future remains, as always, in the hands of consumers.” Doug Shafer comments.

History 

The winery was established by John Shafer, a former book publisher from Chigago, in 1972. In 1978 the Shafers became vintners after crushing their first wine, Shafer Cabernet, themselves. It was released in 1981. This wine was ranked, ten years later during an international blind tasting in Germany, better than legendary Bordeaux wines like Latour, Margaux and Palmer.

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Written Notes

Interestingly, the first thing that came to my mind in smelling the 1995 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select was a relatively young vintage of Château Latour. Another fabulous effort, with notes of blackcurrants, graphite, a touch of vanilla, sweet tannin and a full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel, this vintage offers stunning aromatics of black fruits, earth, charcoal and lead pencil shavings. In addition, there is an intense, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a youthful vibrancy and vigor that are sensational. This is an amazingly young wine that’s coming up on 20 years of age and another great example of just how these best terroirs of Napa can produce incredibly long-lived Cabernet Sauvignons. It should last at least another two decades as well. (RP)

  • 98p

Information

Origin

Napa, Napa Valley

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98p
 Robert Parker Points, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1995  ( Shafer Vineyards )

Interestingly, the first thing that came to my mind in smelling the 1995 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select was a relatively young vintage of Château Latour. Another fabulous effort, with notes of blackcurrants, graphite, a touch of vanilla, sweet tannin and a full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel, this vintage offers stunning aromatics of black fruits, earth, charcoal and lead pencil shavings. In addition, there is an intense, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a youthful vibrancy and vigor that are sensational. This is an amazingly young wine that’s coming up on 20 years of age and another great example of just how these best terroirs of Napa can produce incredibly long-lived Cabernet Sauvignons. It should last at least another two decades as well. (RP)

4m 25d ago

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