2006 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1044117 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Easily Shafer’s greatest Merlot ever. Certainly its richest, with fabulously concentrated blackberry, cherry, licorice, chocolate and cinnamon spice flavors. All this is wrapped into extraordinarily sweet, refined tannins.  (3/2009)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 **Two Stars** Heavily extracted aromas of black cherries, dark soils, hints of licorice and scads of rich oak announce this wine's serious intentions, and it continues in the mouth with deep, ripe, layered flavors whose slight tilt to ripeness is nothing more than we have seen in virtually all Shafer releases. The key, of course, is that Shafer wines have historically shown their ability to carry the style off to perfection, and, given this bottling's depth of fruit and underlying solidity, it joins the exalted ranks of its predecessors.  (3/2009)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The red wine program includes 10,000 cases of Merlot, but that production is decreasing in favor of the other reds. The dark ruby/purple-colored 2006 Merlot (84% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Cabernet Franc) exhibits fleshy, red and black currant, bay leaf, and underbrush characteristics. Medium-bodied with sweet tannin, it should drink nicely for a decade.  (12/2008)

Wine Spectator

 A classically styled Merlot, showing appealing aromas of red currant, fresh coffee bean and spice, with supple, well-structured plum, graphite and toasty leather flavors that firm up on the finish.  (3/2009)

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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.