x
  • Country ranking ?

    765
  • Producer ranking ?

    34
  • Decanting time

    -
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

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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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Wine Information

2008 Hillside Select

Hillside Select is a wine of a place, produced each vintage from carefully selected blocks of the hillside vineyards surrounding the winery. These grapes are small and deeply colored, with concentrated flavors enhanced by meticulous winemaking and extensive aging in French oak barrels. Hillside Select consistently expresses the voluptuous fruit, rich flavors and velvety texture that characterize grapes grown in Stags Leap District.

Release Date August 31, 2012
Vineyard Location 100% Shafer Estate Hillside Vineyards in Stags Leap District including Sunspot, John’s Folly,
Venado Ilegal and Firebreak blocks

2008 Growing Season A chilly start to the 2008 vintage was followed by an ideal, lengthy summer offering endless stretches of warm, sunny days and cool nights. A perfectly timed warm spell in early September jumpstarted a harvest of gorgeous, enticing, fruit – ripe, inky, silky and bursting with flavor.

Varietal Composition 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Brix at Harvest 24.0° - 26.0°
Alcohol 15.5%
Cooperage 32 months in 100% new 60-gallon French oak barrels (Allier, and Tronçais)

Food Affinities Grilled or roasted lamb, duck, beef and game; dishes featuring roasted red peppers or carmelized onions; seasonings of basil, mint or rosemary.
Aged, full-flavor cheeses are also complementary.

Winemaker Comment s
“2008 Hillside Select offers perfumy aromatic elegance and rich, focused flavors of blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, cola, cassis, juicy red cherry, black tea, with spice and warm toast. Ripe, silken tannins result in a pleasing, lengthy finish, smooth texture, and a refined structure
which offers the potential for very long-term aging.




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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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

(15.5% alcohol): Bright, full medium ruby. Extravagant, superripe aromas of cassis, blackberry, black cherry, graphite, minerals and espresso. Wonderfully plush, liqueur-like and sweet, showing a distinctly herbal quality that energizes the deep dark fruits in the middle palate. Very dense, thick wine with the stuffing to support its firm tannins. The extremely long, slowly rising finish conveys repeating notes of liqueur-like ripeness yet comes across as quite youthful, even backward. This wine should continue to evolve and harmonize with further aging. Incidentally, this bottle showed considerably more pliancy, sweetness and richness than a much tighter sample that was part of my extensive vertical tasting at the winery two years ago and I have extended my projected peak drinking range substantially as a result.

  • 93p

Aromatic elegance leads to rich flavors of blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, cola, cassis, juicy black and red cherry, black tea, with spice and warm toast. Ripe, silken tannins result in a pleasing, lengthy finish, smooth texture, and a refined structure.

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Information

Origin

Napa, Napa Valley

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