2002 Shafer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1014256 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I was blown away by the brilliance of the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon. Loaded with fruit, this blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and tiny dollops of Cabernet Franc and Merlot tips the scales at 14.8% natural alcohol, all of which is hidden beneath a cascade of gorgeous black currant fruit intermixed with toasty oak and hints of charcoal and pen ink. Exhibiting a full-bodied, opulent, voluptuously textured mouthfeel, it is a pure, dense, classic Napa Cabernet that should drink well for another 10-15 years. I wish I had realized what a great wine this was early on, as it was never that expensive. (RP)  (6/2012)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Rarely does Shafer's Napa Valley Cabernet achieve the textural richness of its iconic Hillside Select. But in '02, the wine is as supple and delicious as fresh black cherries dipped in chocolate. The color is opaque, the texture voluptuous, brought back to earth by the dusty tannin. Those tannins predict good cellar potential.  (8/2005)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Firm, dark, rich and concentrated, with layers of spicy, grapey plum, currant and blackberry, with hints of herb, coffee and cedary oak. The tannins are tight yet ripe and the finish sails on.  (10/2004)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Cassis, cherry, minerals, flowers and nutty oak on the nose. Suave, intense and light on its feet, with juicy, penetrating flavors of dark berries, spices and mint, enlivened by firm balancing acids and lifted by a floral note. Finishes with fine, firm, dusty tannins and a hint of black pepper.  (6/2005)

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Price: $109.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

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.