2012 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1171754 92 points Wine Spectator

 Sleek and supple, this is exactly the style of Merlot that made the wine so popular. Floral red currant and cinnamon spice aromas lead to rich, ripe flavors of black cherry and toasty oak, with a hint of earth. Drink now through 2020.  (9/2014)

91 points Vinous

 The 2012 Merlot jumps from the glass with brilliant red cherries, plums, flowers, spices and mint. With time in the glass the flavors blossom beautifully as the wine gains texture and resonance. Merlot still suffers from a less than stellar reputation in some circles, which is unfortunate. Few do it better than Shafer when it comes to capturing the fruit-driven exuberance of Merlot. Drink this juicy, resonant red over the next few years. Shafer remains a reference-point winery for Napa Valley. In a region where key people come and go every few years, Shafer has succeeded in creating an environment that fosters long-term loyalty. Winemaker Elias Fernandez arrived at Shafer straight out of Davis 30 years ago and worked his way up to the top, allowing Doug Shafer to concentrate on building the business. That partnership has paid big-time dividends for years and is one of the best examples of how important long-term organizational stability is in achieving a consistently high level of performance. As for the wines, they are terrific across the board. Readers who want to gain a little more perspective on the 2012 vintage might enjoy this short video I shot with John and Doug Shafer and Elias Fernandez in May 2013.  (10/2014)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Merlot, which comes in at 15.5% natural alcohol, is a beauty. It’s 91% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest a touch of Malbec. The wine reveals notes of black cherries, tobacco leaf, mocha and darker-berried fruit with a hint of white chocolate. It’s ripe, medium to full-bodied, but fresh, elegant and well-delineated. This beauty should drink well for a decade or more. Composed of 88% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec, the 2012 Merlot appears to be another sensational offering from Doug and John Shafer and their longtime assistant, Elias Fernandez. The sweetness of the tannins, the sucrosity of the fruit and the wine-s richness and expansiveness suggest another great vintage in Napa Valley. This is a sensational Merlot. (RP)  (10/2014)

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Price: $49.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.1