2004 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Shafer, Stags Leap District, California, USA
99 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate (December 2014)
This vintage shocked me when I did my retrospective earlier this year, and the 2004 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select acquitted itself brilliantly in the vertical of Hillside Selects. It was a hot year, a relatively early harvest and there were worries that the heat had stressed the grapes, and there would be a lack of physiological ripeness and nuance. Those worries have not manifested themselves in this great Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky/purple-colored with notes of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, spring flowers, and a touch of toast, the wine is opulent, voluptuous and full-bodied with sweet tannin, just enough acidity to provide freshness, vibrancy and delineation, and a spectacular finish that goes on 40+ seconds. This is a killer, a showy and flamboyant style of Hillside Select that’s already drinking beautifully and should continue to do so for another 15-20 years.
96 Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (July 2016)
Good deep red. Brilliantly pure, animated nose offers scents of redcurrant, spices, cedary cigar box and musky underbrush. Boasts outstanding thickness and depth of flavor and an uncanny balance of sweetness and acidity. At once bone-dry and incredibly plush, with the superconcentrated plum and redcurrant flavors complicated by sexy saline soil tones and a note of dark chocolate. Perhaps most impressive today on the suavely tannic, endless finish. This is wonderfully plush and pliant today but should continue to give great pleasure for at least another ten years.