2012 Shafer "Hillside Select" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon (3L)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is not in bottle, but it looks like another three-digit wine in the making. It tips the scales at a lofty 15.3% natural alcohol, but tasters will never feel any “heat” tasting it. This is a beauty, with crème de cassis notes intermixed with spring flowers, a touch of toasty oak, blackberries, blueberries and cassis, as well as licorice, vanillin and a full-bodied mouthfeel. At this stage, it is more voluptuous and opulent than the 2010, simply because that’s the hallmark style of the 2012. No doubt this is a 30- to 50-year wine if you want to cellar it properly and nibble on it over a long period of time, but it will be much more approachable in its youth than most Hillside Selects tend to be. This is, once again, a fabulous effort. (RP)
A wine with incredible finesse and elegance. Blackberry, blueberry, mineral, violet and lavender aromas. Wet earth floor and stone. Full body, very fine tannins and fabulous freshness. The length and polish is truly exceptional. The hint of austerity makes it irresistible. A joy to drink. But has a great future ahead of it.
Amazing from first sip to last, this is remarkably complex, layered and textured, smooth and supple, with a seductive creamy mocha oak presence to the long, expansive aftertaste, where the flavors cascade on top of one another and excite with anise and cedar. (JL)
A total hedonistic turn-on, the 2012 has developed beautifully since I tasted it last year. The 2012 is not especially subtle. Instead it bursts from the glass with intense raciness and voluptuousness. Dark red cherry, pomegranate, spice and new leather flesh out on the opulent finish. Hints of torrefaction, mocha and French oak are evident and suggest the 2012 doesn't quite have the density or richness of the very best years. In exchange, though, the 2012 will drink well with minimal cellaring and is not likely to shut down. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright red-ruby. Very sexy aromas of black cherry, cassis, mocha and spices, plus a whiff of caramel. Wonderfully fleshy, inviting and sweet, boasting highly concentrated flavors of currant, licorice and narcissus. For all its early mid-palate creaminess, this is quite powerful and youthful, and yet its full, ripe tannins are perfectly supported by its intense dark fruit flavors and impression of extract. (ST)