2009 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1087090 93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 It seems that Shafer can be counted on year in and year out for some of the richer, well-filled Merlots to be had, and this latest, while not wanting for ripeness, stands again with the best of the vintage. It leads with very deep aromas of black cherries, root beer and sweet cream, and its very like-minded flavors are as concentrated as they are juicy. Some might quibble about a touch of eleventh-hour heat, but we find it a small price to pay for this kind of richness and real fruity depth. *Two Stars*  (9/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Supple, elegant and beautifully focused, with aromas of red currant and toasty vanilla that lead to ripe but sleek and layered flavors of black cherry, cinnamon and black tea. Tannins sneak in on the finish. (TF)  (5/2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Merlot is an attractive, fleshy wine graced with expressive dark red fruit, flowers, sweet spices and licorice. The wine reveals gorgeous radiance and a supple, inviting personality ideally suited to drinking over the next few years. (AG)  (12/2011)

90 points Vinous

 Medium red. Aromas of redcurrant, tobacco leaf, fresh herbs and chocolatey oak. Not a particularly fat or sweet style of Merlot but sappy and lively, with oak spices perking up the intense currant and herb flavors. Not quite as creamy as the other two current red releases from this winery but very nicely balanced and persistent, finishing with fine-grained tannins and late notes of licorice and herbs. (ST)  (5/2012)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Shafer’s Merlot is very vintage driven, and this 2009 shows exceptionally ripe, sweet cherry and blueberry-pie flavors, enriched by 75% new French oak that brings toasty, spicy vanilla notes. It’s flashy, opulent and delicious, but a bit forward and warm.  (7/2012)

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Price: $59.99
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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.1