Shafer Vineyards2001 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon
(Stags Leap District ~ Napa Valley)
Now come the Napa Valley blockbusters from the vaunted 2001 vintage. The big boys are breaking out their big wines after cellaring them all these months and here comes one of them. Shafer’s Cabernet Sauvignon, from its famous estate Hillside Vineyard is one of the stars – as you’d expect – of the vintage.
As with many of the wines in the post-phylloxera era, this wine is made to drink now what with its soft, toasty, chocolate-y aromas. But if one is fortunate enough to have more than one bottle, it will evolve and improve over the next 15 years because there’s a backbone here of silken tannins and tar that portends longevity.
This 100 percent Cabernet was aged 32 months in new French barrels. The listed alcohol is 14.9 percent and there were but 2,500 cases produced. The price is a whopping $175, but some might think it’s worth every penny because this is playing with the Big Boys.
Reviewed December 12, 2005 by Alan Goldfarb.
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.