2005 Shafer "Hillside Select" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1050141 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select continues to put on weight, and displays a Bordeaux-like personality because of the vintage's cool growing season. A black purple color, stunningly sweet fruit, and a gorgeous bouquet of underbrush, forest floor, creme de cassis, lead pencil shavings, and toasty barrique are found in this ripe, full-bodied, deep, stunningly well-balanced, substantial wine with undeniable complexity as well as richness. It is approachable now, but promises to evolve for 25 or more years.  (12/ 2008)

94-97 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Pure, vibrant aromas of blackberry, cassis, lead pencil, violet, licorice and minerals. Wonderfully fine-grained and deep, with sharp definition and lovely floral high notes to the flavors of blueberry, cassis and spice. Finishes with noble, suave tannins and outstanding slow-building length. This 100% cabernet wine has all the elements to make an outstanding bottle. Winemaker Fernandez, who rates it with the 2002 and 2001 as his favorites among recent vintages.  (6/ 2007)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 The texture is often what sets Hillside Select apart from other Napa Valley cabernets, the gentleness of its tannins managing to maintain the wine's shape and contour without flattening out. It appears to be seamless, sleek in the best sense of the word-a luxurious wine that feels authentic. Part of that is the cool, foresty mushroom flavor at the heart of the tannin; another part the beautiful balance between the tannins and the layers of dark fruit. A fine vintage of Hillside Select, this glows with the contemporary ripeness of Napa Valley cabernet without overreaching.  (12/ 2009)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Nothing short of bombastic and simply brimming with very ripe currants and extravagant oak, Shafer's flagship is again a wine of admirable richness and size with little regard for subtlety or restraint. It is gloriously full and close to unctuous in feel yet is never less than remarkably balanced for the big-bodied wine that it is, and, it is on the strength of balance combined with its extract and depth that this one guarantees five to ten years of improvement.  (12/ 2009)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Generous ripe plum, black cherry and currant flavors are supple and focused, complex and balanced. Full-bodied and focused, ending with a long, layered finish that picks up anise, cedar and mineral notes. Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasted three times, with consistent notes. Drink now through 2018.  (11/ 2009)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.