2010 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot (375ml)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A delicious entry-level wine, the 2010 Merlot is rich, boisterous and loaded with fruit. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and spices all make an appearance in this flashy, exuberant red. The vibrancy of the vintage works to balance some of the wineís natural overtness. Clean, saline notes add an attractive briskness to the finish. This is a gorgeous wine that makes a compelling case for Merlot-based wines in Napa Valley. The 2010 is 84% Merlot, 10% Cabernet and 6% Malbec, a variety that seems to add a little extra juiciness, always welcome in a wine meant to be enjoyed upon release. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.
Sourced from a Yountville vineyard site and another in the foothills just south of Stag's Leap, Shafer reduced the crop more than usual in the cool 2010 vintage in order to harvest fine clusters with developed color and flavor. The wine was aged for 20 months in 75% new French oak and the wine is complemented by 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Malbec. From winemaker Elias Fernandez: "The 2010 gives everything a Merlot should and more - lively, enticing red fruit with a core of deep, lush black fruit - red cherry and black cheery, red plum and black plum, spice and berry with hints of earth and smoke. This plush package is held together in a structure of fine, ripe tannins."