2002 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1010994 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Never tasting better, the 2002 Merlot was one of the finest Merlots tasted in my retrospective of 2002s. Made from a final blend of 88% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, it exhibits plenty of sweet mocha and round berry fruit along with a hint of smoky oak, a rich, creamy, broad, savory mouthfeel, a sexy finish, and lots of opulence and density. (RP)  (6/2012)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* Another in the "Merlot goes to Cabernet" camp, this wine's ripe cherry fruit comes with notes of cola and caramel, and its early roundness on the palate is belied by a firmer, stiffer construction from the middle to the finish.  (3/2005)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Plush and complex, with an elegant core of ripe, vivid, well-defined currant, blackberry and wild berry fruit that's intense and concentrated, showing off pretty mocha-laced oak nuances along with a touch of herb and green olive. Finishes with a smooth, soothing aftertaste and flavors of notable depth and richness.  (10/2004)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Raspberry liqueur and black cherry on the nose. Then sweet, rich, supple and bright, with intense, fruit-driven flavors of black raspberry, black cherry, cola and spices. Nicely balanced and not at all overly sweet. Finishes with firm, chewy, ripe tannins and lingering sweetness of fruit. Highly successful for this bottling.  (1/2005)

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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.


- 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.
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.