2005 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1033543 91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 For a good many years, we have been taken with this winery's ways with this grape, and once again Shafer's preoccupations with richness find perfect expression in this juicy and fruit-laden Merlot. Deep and defined and brimming with cherries and very sweet oak, this working is uncannily refined for the ripe wine that it is, and it sports a sense of sophistication than transcends its similarly big-bodied mates. It is so plump and fleshy that it can be enjoyed now, but there is no soft underbelly here, and it will improve over the mid-term.  (3/2008)

89-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (includes 8% cabernet sauvignon and 6% cabernet franc) Good ruby-red. Spicy red fruits and cocoa powder on the nose. Supple and silky on the palate, with fresh, nicely delineated flavors of redcurrant, flowers, spices and tobacco. Very nicely balanced wine, finishing with rather suave tannins and some lingering oakiness. (ST)  (6/2007)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Shafer’s Cabernet is so dominant, it’s sometimes forgotten how good their Merlot can be. The wines are dependably dry, rich and balanced, as the excellent ’05 demonstrates. It’s soft and drinkable now, but rich and sweet in tannins that frame cherry, currant, cola, licorice and vanilla flavors. Will reward cellaring through 2011.  (3/2008)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Merlot, which has 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc in the blend, is a sensual, elegant style of wine. Soft, richly fruity, with notes of herb, mocha, coffee bean, and plenty of berry fruit, the wine has crisp acidity and a good finish. (RP)  (12/2007)

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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.