2004 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1024803 92 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe, juicy plum, blackberry and wild berry fruit is lively, plush, well-proportioned and highly distinctive, finishing with a burst of fruit and pretty toasty-oak shadings. (JL)  (11/2006)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Long on currants and cherries and long on very rich oak, this juicy, abundantly fruity opus sports fine Cabernet structure and, despite undisguised finishing heat, it never once wanders away to softness. Its ample tannins disqualify it from near-term drinking, but they are neither so hard nor so imposing that they call the wine's capacity for age into question, and, while we expect that it will begin to open after three or four years, its best lies further down the road. *Two Stars*  (4/2007)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2004 Merlot (75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc) continues to demonstrate that the movie “Sideways” really had some fatal flaws. I suspect if the director had tasted the Shafer Merlot, or for that matter the Pahlmeyer and a few others, some of the nonsense about Merlot would never have appeared in that funny and enjoyable movie. Shafer’s 2004 Merlot is Napa Merlot at its finest – juicy, succulent, sexy and irresistible. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color along with copious aromas of black cherries, spice, smoke and earth. Beguiling, silky smooth and round, it is a total turn-on. (RP)  (4/2014)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright ruby. Cassis, bitter chocolate and mocha on the musky nose. Rich, ripe, sexy and deep, with considerable sweetness to the flavors of currant, chocolate and cherry cola. As lush as this is, there's also plenty of inner-mouth energy thanks to ripe, harmonious acidity. Finishes long and clinging, with ripe tannins and plenty of sweet oak. (ST)  (2/2007)

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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.