2013 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1218633 92 points Vinous

 Shafer's 2013 Merlot is wonderfully fresh, brisk and nuanced. Sweet red cherry, plum, mint and expressive spice notes are all pushed forward. This open-knit, fleshy Merlot should drink well for the next handful of years. (AG) Shafer is one of Napa Valley's best oiled machines. Year after year the wines deliver the goods in a rich, sumptuous style that defines the very essence of contemporary Napa Valley at its very best. The 2012s are terrific, but Shafer really shines in 2013 and 2014, two vintages in which the wines have a bit more energy and delineation than 2012, a year with mostly mid-weight wines built on forward fruit, but with less varietal character. Winemaker Elias Fernandez describes 2013 as a year with a generous crop. Unlike the vast majority of his colleagues, Fernandez opted for shorter macerations in 2014, a year with smaller berries and wines that extracted more quickly than in 2013, when the wines spent longer on the skins. Quite frankly, it's hard to go wrong with any of these wines, including the just-released 2011 Hillside Select, which is gorgeous.  (10/2015)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* Shafer Merlots somehow manage to be big, bold and unapologetically ripe without being heavy, and this latest is rife with very rich oak and strikingly deep, fully extracted, herb-tinged, solidly varietal fruit that does not miss a beat. It is fleshy and full-bodied and flamboyantly puts all of its winning cards on the table, but, however showy it is now, it is constructed to keep and has the structure and stuffing to guarantee years of positive growth.  (11/2015)

91 points James Suckling

 Blackberry and violet aromas and flavors. Blue fruit. Spice. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a savory finish. White pepper.  (1/2016)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A soft, juicy 2013 Merlot (90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Malbec) has no hard edges, a dark ruby/purple color and attractive cherry and berry fruit. (RP)  (12/2015)

K&L Notes

Praise from Robert Parker: "Year in year out, this is one of the superstar wineries, not only in Napa Valley and all of California, but in the entire world." (10/2014)

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Price: $59.99

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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 (%): 15.3