2002 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Shafer, Stags Leap District, California, USA
100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate (December 2014)
In contrast to the more linear, structured, but massive 2001, the 2002 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is pure fruit-bomb material, but stunningly proportioned, beautifully pure, with notes of melted chocolate, blackcurrant jam, sweet black cherries, licorice, camphor and charcoal. Very full-bodied, like the 2001, but much more lavishly fruited, it is more accessible and hedonistically, as well as intellectually, satisfying. If the 2001 is the long-distance runner, this comes across more like a middle-distancer. It had performed fabulously well since it was released by the winery, and even though it’s still an adolescent in terms of its evolution, this wine is a head-turner in wine tastings, and a spectacular effort from Napa. Drink now or drink in 20-25 years.
94+ Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (July 2016)
Good dark red. Perfumed, liqueur-like aromas of black plum, dark berries, licorice and cocoa powder. Dense, thick and very ripe but still a bit youthfully brooding; shows the darkest fruit character to this point in the tasting. This extremely dense, thick, youthfully brooding Cabernet finishes with serious ripe tannins and good medicinal reserve. If the 2001 is claret-like in the context of this bottling, then the 2002 is classic liqueur-like Napa Cabernet, even if it's in a bit of a shell today. Less detailed today than the 2001 but I'd love to try these wines side by side again in six or seven years.