2010 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Shafer, Stags Leap District, California, USA
100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate (December 2014)
A remarkable wine, the 2010 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select has gone from strength to strength since it was in cask. It is stunningly rich, with classic, fragrant notes of blackcurrants, blackberries, vanilla, graphite and spring flowers. It exhibits an opaque purple color, with a full-bodied, massive mouthfeel, but no heaviness, and again, a flawless integration of acidity, tannin, alcohol and wood. It’s classic California Cabernet, but beautifully put together, showing impeccable craftsmanship and fabulous potential. This is obviously a very young, infantile style of Cabernet that won’t hit its prime for at least another decade and last close to half a century, based on how older vintages that were less well-endowed have matured from Shafer.
99 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2015)
One of the most impressive wines of the night, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is fabulous. Racy, exotic and flashy to the core, the 2010 delivers a classic, full-on Napa Valley experience. If I had to pick one Napa Valley wine that exemplifies modern viticulture and winemaking at its very best, but that remains relatively affordable (by Napa Valley standards), the 2010 Hillside Select would be it. Hard-core classicists might be troubled by the wine's sweetness, but in my view, this is as good as it gets within the genre of voluptuous, opulent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I have now served the 2010 at several events and it has never been anything less than magnificent.
95+ Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (July 2016)
Saturated ruby to the rim. Primary, almost grapey aromas of cassis, tar, menthol, bitter chocolate, licorice and pungent minerality. Conveys a sappy, liqueur-like ripeness but with a distinctly medicinal quality suggesting that this hugely concentrated wine is still a baby. In fact, this extremely backward, savory wine tastes virtually like a tank sample. Its thorough ripeness, firm spine of acidity and noble tannins suggest that it will develop at a snail's pace. This may ultimately turn out to be the finest vintage of Hillside Select to date.