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2014 Shafer "Hillside Select" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1375792 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Very deep inky-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is incredibly intense and impactful on the nose, revealing notes of crushed black cherries, blackberries and fresh black currants with underlying notions of charcoal, sautéed herbs, black soil, chargrilled meat and pencil lead, plus a waft of violets. Very full-bodied, very rich and wonderfully concentrated, the wall of fruit is well matched by a firm structure of ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing with great length and depth. (LPB) 98+ Inner quote mark (10/2017)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Lastly, the flagship 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (the only vintage where it wasn’t 100% was in 1984, when it included 9% Cabernet Franc) brought up all in high-class French oak. A textbook example of the balanced nature of the 2014 vintage, it offers a complex bouquet of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco leaf, and subtle minerality. Finesse-driven yet powerful on the palate, with full-bodied richness, its tannin structure is perfectly integrated into the wine, it has notable purity and freshness, and a great finish. It’s relatively approachable by this cuvée’s standard but has another 20-30 years of longevity ahead of it. Inner quote mark (1/2019)

97 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark A fascinating nose of licorice, tarte tartin, blackcurrant compote, orange rind, ivy, holly, pine needles, ash, Christmas cake and even raspberry cheesecake as well as a slight minty/herbal note. The palate is so well-knit but powerful; it's the sort of wine that takes no prisoners. Yet the vintage shines through, and it remains always fresh and balanced. Layers upon layers of fruit and a long, decadent finish. Inner quote mark (12/2017)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is one of the more restrained, understated versions of this wine I can remember tasting. Medium in body (in relative terms) and beautifully persistent, the 2014 makes its case more with a total sense of harmony rather than with bombastic power, as is sometimes the case. Moreover, the 2014 has really come together beautifully since I last tasted it. In 2014, Hillside Select is a wine of precision, with expressive aromatics and finely-knit tannins that support the mid-palate and finish nicely. (AG) 97+ Inner quote mark (3/2018)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark The famous wine lives up to its mighty reputation in this vintage. Densely packed in tones of red currant, cassis and cocoa powder, the palate offers a sublime texture that lingers despite an overall powerful punch of structure and tannin. Elements of crushed rock and black licorice unfold on the finish. *Cellar Selection* (VB) Inner quote mark (5/2019)

94 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark John Shafer helped define the voice of Stags Leap District cabernet sauvignon with the early releases from the knolls he and his son, Doug, planted under the escarpment in southeastern Napa Valley. The first release, from 1978, was dark, layered and rich, soft enough that people questioned him about how much merlot there was in the blend. The cabernet went on to become a cult phenomenon in the 1990s, and Elias Fernandez, who has made the wine since the early 1980s, continued to push the limits of richness and ripeness, even as his other cabernet (One Point Five) remained relatively restrained. While we regularly recommend One Point Five, our panels have passed on the recent releases of Hillside Select since 2010. Then this 2014 came along, integrated in its richness, merlot-like in its graceful power, with zesty fruit one panelist described as “fresh crushed marionberries and blackberries.” That freshness was still intact three days later, the fruit lasting as it infused the tannins with color. If you loved the early vintages of Hillside Select (think 1978 or 1991 for two great examples), and even if you loved the most recent heady styles, this is a 2014 you’ll want in your cellar. Inner quote mark (8/2019)

93 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This shows the dark sage and tobacco edge of the vintage, with a core of gently steeped plum and blackberry fruit emerging slowly. Smoky details pervade the finish, which displays a serious bolt of graphite. (JM) Inner quote mark (12/2018)


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