Search: (advanced)

External search
Google (images)
Wine Advocate
Wine Spectator

Show more

From this producer
Show all wines
All tasting notes
  Home | All Cellars | Tasting Notes | Reports | UsersHelp | Member Sign In 

 Vintage2002 Label 85 of 85 
(NOTE: Label borrowed from 2010 vintage.)
ProducerShafer (web)
VarietyCabernet Sauvignon
DesignationHillside Select
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationStags Leap District
UPC Code(s)013528400023

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2009 and 2028 (based on 65 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 96.6 pts. and median of 97 pts. in 270 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by jclary on 7/13/2015 & rated 94 points: This was a bit of a disappointment compared to other HSS bottles, but still very very good. Out of magnum, decanted for 2 1/2 hours. HSS is my favorite cabernet, and I have probably served it to guests more than any other wine. Everyone else loved it, so I am probably being overly harsh. It does need more time to fully show all that it has to offer. (566 views)
 Tasted by peternelson on 6/12/2015 & rated 92 points: Intense cassis, ripe, big, forward black and blueberry pie, hint of mint, nice, smooth, voluptuous; starting to soften up with slight cooked fruits. (976 views)
 Tasted by Bob in NC on 5/27/2015 & rated 98 points: One word tasting note: Incredible. (1224 views)
 Tasted by Dicker on 5/24/2015 & rated 98 points: - Brick color. (1110 views)
 Tasted by blawrence on 5/23/2015 & rated 100 points: Cork broke when opening, I was worried. Initial funky chemical aroma on initial decant and poured a half glass for a quick taste, still worried. An hour later, the funk & chemical nose was gone and the wine was starting to soar. Asked my wife to taste... and what was in the taste glass was quickly dispatched as she nodded approval. Dinner a few hours later, ribeye with good friends. Notes of fresh loam, dark fruits are ever present, so well integrated that they were very hard to distinguish particulars; a very long, soft, smooth, mouth watering finish. Wow. Minutes long! (1092 views)
 Tasted by sjdoc on 4/4/2015 & rated 99 points: drank in a vertical tasting, 99-03. 2003 did not match up. 99 was a surprise hit. 2001 and 2002 were the clear winners with the 01 being slightly better (1714 views)
 Tasted by cubswinws on 3/20/2015 & rated 95 points: Just a great wine. Still on the young side. Great depth and long finish. This wine will seemingly last forever. (1773 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 2/28/2015 & rated 98 points: Great to taste this wine again! As in my previous note I wrote that this wine comes close to perfection. Beautiful dark fruits, coffee, cinnamon, a beautiful balance between sweetness and acidity and silky soft tannin with a lot of power. Probably a great pleasure from now until at least 2025. I love this wine! (2001 views)
 Tasted by Knicksfan on 1/26/2015 & rated 97 points: This is a beautiful wine. Lives up to the "hype". 1hr decant and aromas and flavors are soaring out of the decanter. Wonderful example of Cali CS and how they can hold up/improve for a decade and longer. (2191 views)
 Tasted by floridawinedrkr on 1/17/2015 & rated 95 points: Very dark, thick and almost syrupy texture when poured into decanter. Spectacular nose. Decanted for 5 hours. Everything was perfect except for the finish. The finish was disjointed and alcohol muted the flavors. I expected much more from this 2002. We drink a lot of Shafer HSS and this was not the best bottle I have had especially for the price of this year. Needs more time to age. (2227 views)
 Tasted by Rosengoo on 12/17/2014 & rated 98 points: This bottle was an impromptu pop and pour with friends. The colour was a very deep purple and it was perfectly clear. Based on how this wine was, I would have never known that this bottle was 12 years old already. It had a strong nose and taste of red cherries and caramel with some chocolate thrown in the mix. Although I didn't measure the finish, it was quite long. The tannins and acidity are present but have mellowed out nicely and now the wine is showing wonderfully. One of my "wines of the year". (2361 views)
 Tasted by Dvogt on 11/5/2014 & rated 96 points: Dark, inky purple. No signs of age. Dark fruit, blackberry, blueberry, some fig, bitter chocolate. A touch of heat. Nice tannin integration. (3180 views)
 Tasted by dcwino on 10/30/2014 & rated 98 points: Cali Cab Dinner with 10+ Years of Age - 02 HSS, 04 Levy, 01 Madronna and etc. (Charlie Palmer - Washington DC): The last bottle that I had in last May was certainly was impressive but was a bit overwhelming. Intense crushed blackberries, crème de cassis, lead pencil, dark milk chocolate, vanilla and mineral. Incredible concentration, intense jammy black fruit driven palate impression, unctuous yet silky palate and masked tannins due to the incredible fruit concentration. Wow wine. IMO, Shafer HSS is one of the greatest Napa Cabs. (3125 views)
 Tasted by peterk on 10/22/2014 & rated 96 points: Drank alongside a 2003 Chapoutier Ermite and a 2004 Penfolds Grange - great company. This is amaaazing wine - pure, layered, multi-dimensional, sweet, tannic wine. I almost thought it was a Syrah, as did others given its company. This wine has years and years to go - I can see why Mr. Parker endows it with 100 points. I'm just leaving space for better wines in the future (perhaps one day I'll have to recalibrate). (2723 views)
 Tasted by Wim de Leeuw on 9/27/2014 & rated 93 points: Paris Tasting in Zwolle (again... at last) (De Librije - Zwolle): Kleur: Robijnrood met een diep paarsige vleug Aroma / bouquet: Stuivend aroma, geconcentreerde powerwijn met donker fruit, potloodslijpsel, inkt, caramel, cederhout. Indrukwekkende concentratie. Smaak / Afdronk: Verleidelijke powerwijn, iets te lage zuurgraad en daardoor iets te weinig fraicheur, boterzachte tannines, wat laurier, super dik sap met veel concentratie en power. Veel alcohol. Algemeen / potentieel: Verleidelijk glas. Wel oppassen met serveertemperatuur. 50 + Kleur: 5 + Aroma / bouquet: 13 + Smaak / Afdronk: 17 + Algemeen / potentieel: 8 = 93/100

Google Translate

Color: Ruby red with deep purplish hint Aroma / bouquet: dusty aroma, power concentrated wine with dark fruit, pencil shavings, ink, caramel, cedar. . Impressive concentration Taste / Finish: Seductive power of wine, a bit too low acidity and therefore too little fraicheur, butterly soft tannins, some bay leaves, super thick juice with a lot of concentration and power. Lots of alcohol. General / potential: Seductive glass. Be careful with serving temperature. 50 + Color: 5 + Aroma / bouquet: 13 + Taste / Finish: 17 + General / potential: 8 = 93/100 (3061 views)
 Tasted by H Crenshaw on 9/24/2014 & rated 95 points: This wine is showing lots of ripe blue and black fruits. Hints of smoke and chocolate as well. This is still very full bodied and should continue to integrate and balance as it ages in bottle. (2397 views)
 Tasted by dbg on 9/18/2014: Dark purple to rim, intense nose of dark berries, mocha, full body, palate coating, rich ripe fruit, long finish, outstanding, not quite as round or complete as the 2001 or 2004. (2012 views)
 Tasted by Collector1855 on 9/6/2014 & rated 96 points: Even among 100 pointers, a wine rarely gets the kind of endorsement like this one. I a video RP discusses it with other California Cab Sav 100 Pointers ranking it above that "Uber-peer-group" and calling it one of the greatest CabSav's ever made. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkMC51DE4VM). Against that backdrop I recently bought a few bottles just to see what it is that enticed RP so much. Not that I did not know the Hillside Select before, a retailer close to where I grew up discovered it in the early nineties and carried it in his assortment. I had many vintages before but not the 2002. To finally taste it I took a bottle to a dinner in Hong Kong with an old friend from work who is an experienced oenophile. We discussed intensely and settled on a range between 95 to 100. Below that it gets hard to defend your position. We can see 100 but only if your style is "the more the better". I came out at just 95/96, my friend was in the 97-98 range.
Tasting note: Very dark purple with blackish core, no sign of age in the color. Expressive nose of blueberry, some flowers, dark berries again and hints of Eucalyptus. On the palate this is full bodied with a touch of heat but not overly so. What is impressive are the tannins. They are there in spades but ultra soft on the mid palate. What they do is to provide the much needed bitterness (bitter chocolate note) at the finish to round out the otherwise very sweet/blueberry/fruity mid palate. Structurally this reminded of the best 2010 CdP 100 pointers like Grand Veneur VV or Janasse VV. What I am personally missing is a bit more aromatic diversity beyond the black fruit spectrum, eg, smokey, earthy tones. If you own this wine, put it next to a Latour 2000 or Montrose 2009/10 and you know where I am coming from. Sorry for the lengthy note but given the video credentials I thought I had to go a bit deeper here. 95-96 (2680 views)
 Tasted by davidandrose on 8/1/2014 & rated 96 points: Decanted and followed over 4 hours. Pours inky purple with heady, rich aromas right out of the bottle; Mrs Davidandrose closed her eyes and said she felt she was in Napa, with her head in a recently-emptied cask. Wine was a little backwards right out of the bottle with some disjointed green notes, silky mouthfeel and a brief mid-palate finish, but this changed over time.

Silkiness dissipated at the 4 hour mark, rich blueberry, medium+ toast oak, tight wood feel but a longer finish that continues back-palate. In a very nice place but will retaste within a year to gauge longevity of remaining bottles. (2853 views)
 Tasted by William Kelley on 5/8/2014: The 2002 Hillside Select is a brazzen, decadent wine, oozing with super-ripe blue and black fruits, smoke and hints of chocolate and licorice. Sumptuous and supple, with fine-grained tannins and massive volume on the palate, this is a particularly ripe, precocious and seductive vintage of Hillside. The ripeness here is walking the tightrope, but for now everything is held in check. (4086 views)
 Tasted by gr8r84u on 5/4/2014 & rated 98 points: Not sure if it will get any better with addl age... and don't care. Shafer rarely disappoints, this is no exception. Sublime! (3286 views)
 Tasted by PopularCar on 5/2/2014 & rated 100 points: Wow! This is a special wine, no surprise. blackberry, black licorice, dried herb. (3267 views)
 Tasted by DavidF90210 on 4/19/2014 & rated 96 points: got crushed by 02 Maya. (3295 views)
 Tasted by McKraftyWino on 1/29/2014 & rated 98 points: Glorious. Gorgeous! Still young! Great sip. (4286 views)
 Tasted by Barbaro on 1/19/2014 & rated 97 points: Decanted for 4 hours. This wine is showing beautifully. Still has good structure and tannin that tells me it could definitely continue to age. This night it was amazing and if I had more of this wine it would be hard not to open another in the near future. Delicious! (2207 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (9/17/2009)
(Shafer, Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, January/February 2007, IWC Issue #130
(Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap District) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (9/17/2011)
(Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select) Opaque red violet color; rich, ripe berry, almost porty, boysenberry nose; rich, youthful, black fruit, ripe berry, boysenberry, blackberry puree palate with sweet, firm tannins; approachable now but could use 3 years; long finish 93+ points  93 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com and Vinous and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)


Producer website
John Shafer and his family founded Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, in 1979. From the Shafers' first wine, a 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon,
their wines have won much acclaim. Today, the Shafers farm 200 acres of vineyard in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Oak Knoll regions. Their flagship wine, Hillside Select,
is produced from selected blocks of the family's hillside vineyards and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Merlot, One Point Five
(Cabernet Sauvignon) and Relentless (a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend), which was named #1 wine of the year by Wine Spectator's "Top 100" of 2012.

Cabernet Sauvignon



WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley Wineries and Wine (Napa Valley Vintners) | Article in CellarTracker

Stags Leap District

Stags Leap District

© 2003-15 CellarTracker! LLC. All rights reserved. "CellarTracker!" is a trademark of CellarTracker! LLC. No part of this website may be used, reproduced or distributed without the prior written permission of CellarTracker! LLC. (Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. DB2) - Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook