2007 Shafer "Hillside Select" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select has the potential to be a perfect wine in 5 to 6 years. Although it has shut down since I tasted it last year, it is unquestionably Shafer’s finest Hillside Select since the 2001 and 2002. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age and should keep for 35+ years. This selection is made from the Eisele clone of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in a choice 50-acre parcel. It takes concentration, graciousness and complexity to its highest level in Napa Valley. An inky/blue/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of blueberries, blackberries, charcoal and subtle toast. The wine possesses fabulous concentration, a seamless/flawless personality, a textbook integration of alcohol, wood, tannin and acidity, an almost endless finish and a voluptuous texture. Exhibiting more tannin and structure than it did last year, this is a colossal wine that will still be going strong in 2050.
In keeping with the voluptuous approachability of the 2007 vintage, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is simply fabulous now for its flood of the ripest, sweetest blackberrries, cherries, cassis and chocolate imaginable. Especially noble is the tannin structure, firm and soft, dry and sweet, a combination of opposites. The depth is vast, and the spicy finish goes on for a long time, suggesting the wine’s concentration. Simply a joy to drink, it should develop over many years, but you might want to err on the side of youthfulness and open it by 2015.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full ruby.Captivating aromas of cassis, blackberry and violet show an almost liqueur-like ripeness. Then rich, sweet, highly concentrated and large-scaled, with compelling flavors of dark berries, brown spices and sexy oak complicated by powerful soil tones. This drenches the mouth with flavor, with the wine's tannins melting into its powerful fruit. Showing spectacularly today but this will evolve for decades. (25th anniversary bottling).
Impressive for its richness, elegance and grace, this is spicy and supple, with full-bodied plum, currant and black licorice notes, gaining momentum and ending with a silky aftertaste of loamy earth. Drink now through 2020.
As sure to bring disapproving scowls from the low-alcohol crowd as it is to enrapture fans of hedonistic, full-blown Cabernets, the latest Hillside Select is an enormous wine that holds nothing back in terms of ripeness, sweet oak and oh-so-deep fruit. It is no shrinking violet and is, if anything, a little more extravagant than is usual, but given the remarkable aging history of its predecessors, we are comfortable in predicting a decade or two of improvement.