1994 Shafer "Hillside Select" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
*Three stars* This deeply drafted, optimally ripened wine won enthusiastic recommendation when first released, and it remains our favorite Hillside Select of the 1990s. It has developed layer upon layer of real varietal complexity, and its broad sweep of sweet oak only serves to enrich its wealth of juicy, curranty fruit. It is a big, very rich, uncommonly well-proportioned wine whose integral tannins assure another ten years or more of peak drinkability. Originally reviewed at ***
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A spectacular wine, the 1994 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select begins a succession of profound Hillside Select cuvées that continues nearly uninterrupted (1996 misses slightly) to the present day. It is a further indication of just how impressive this team’s performance has been at this winery. The fully mature 1994, which has another 15-20 years of drinkability ahead of it, exhibits a complex, nearly flamboyant nose of subtle oak, blue, red and black fruits, graphite and licorice. The gorgeous aromas are followed by an opulent, full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel that coats the palate. (RP)
Full, bright ruby-red. Black cherry, chocolate, smoke, licorice and herbs on the nose, plus hints of leathery funk and mocha. Plush and sweet in the mouth, offering an attractive thickness of texture and a savory saline character. Hints at leathery, balsamic evolution in a noble way. This is complex and inviting, but I'd enjoy it within the next five to eight years. Finishes with substantial chewy but sweet tannins. (ST)
A dark, dense and potent youngster, with a tight core of juicy blackberry and black cherry fruit that's deeply concentrated and supported by firm, ripe, integrated tannins.