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 Vintage1991 Label 1 of 93 
ProducerShafer (web)
VarietyCabernet Sauvignon
DesignationHillside Select
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationStags Leap District
UPC Code(s)013528400023

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2000 and 2021 (based on 13 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 93.3 pts. and median of 93 pts. in 49 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by philweird on 5/22/2015 & rated 92 points: I had been warned that there was not much fruit left in this vintage, an opportunity emerged last night to share with it with a friend and was pleaseantly surprised. The wine was accessible upon opening and evolved very slowly over the next hour and a half that it was consumed. I found the fruit well integrated into a great nose and wonder if a long decant would have hurt the experience. This is the second of older California's that I have tasted in recent months and have to say, that they seem to be holding up really well over time. (392 views)
 Tasted by floridawinedrkr on 3/24/2015 & rated 92 points: Picked up 3 more bottles after the last one was perhaps one of the best wines I have had and so far 2 of the 3 have not lived up to the first one. These 2 had much softer corks that broke apart as we tried to remove them as the other one we drank earlier in the month had an extremely solid cork. These 2 didn't quite have the explosive Blueberry Pie A la mode nose as the other one I reviewed. These 2 had a much older nose, a little dusk, funk, still some blueberry, but much more like an old bordeaux . This had much less power behind it and much thinner. It was still good it just wasn't spectacular or very memorable. We did decant and there was a lot of sediment. We were disappointed. (703 views)
 Tasted by GTFreek on 3/21/2015: Gorgeous, Bordeaux style, yet fading. Probably had more power a few years ago. Still very, very good, structure excellent with acidity and balance. (552 views)
 Tasted by ttriant on 3/14/2015 & rated 94 points: Overall excellent, sweet tannins. Drink now to 2020. (566 views)
 Tasted by floridawinedrkr on 3/7/2015 & rated 98 points: This was stored perfect and the cork was as firm as any 2010 wine you would open. I was shocked. Nose literally smelled like Blueberry pie. Smooth and still powerful. Huge flavor of blueberry pie, with some spices, a hint of cedar, and a touch of coffee. It did have a touch of musty funk that blew off within a couple minutes.

This was popped and poured and was the WOTN!!! I wish I had more (696 views)
 Tasted by 1961Vintage on 12/30/2014 & rated 95 points: Killer cab. Incredible in every way. Enjoy, but would think about popping a few with the new year. (648 views)
 Tasted by jsebiri on 12/20/2014: crumbled cork , nice cab , missing at least one dimension , nice , but probably a few years late (549 views)
 Tasted by Naplesgolfer on 12/19/2014 & rated 94 points: Drank out of 6L. Decanted for 3 hrs. This is at it's peak right now. Not your typical Hillside select. A little lighter and very balanced. Fruit and the acid and tannin very resolved. Older Bordeaux-esque. (572 views)
 Tasted by Marc on 8/10/2014 & rated 91 points: Dinner in Normandale (Normandale, Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand): Clear aromas of sauteed green bell peppers combine with blackcurrants and classy cedar and oak character. A touch of dusty complexity and also a hint of oxidation that suggests the wine is slightly past its peak. The palate has outstanding definition and a long and rich finish, with slightly elevated acids. In no way is the wine drying out. Compared to the two great 1990 bordeaux wines that preceded it, this felt stylistically in the middle of the two wines, sharing a hint of the extravagant opulence of the Montrose and also some of the classic poise of the La Mission Haut Brion. Certainly the most developed of the trio. The dualism of both ripe and unripe fruit quality marks this as a wine that may not have achieved complete physiological ripeness in the vineyard. I liked this wine very much but it was well and truly outclassed by the two superstars drunk in the same flight. (1409 views)
 Tasted by William Kelley on 5/8/2014: The 1991 Hillside Select is surprisingly reminiscent of a rustic 1982 Bordeaux, although a certain inner sweetness identifies it as Californian on the palate. Aromas of cedar, herbs and briary fruits emerge from the glass, and the wine seems to grow with air, gaining richness and completeness on the palate to put in a very creditable showing. Doug Shafer recollects that this wine was opaque and viscous in its youth, but it has evolved into quite a civilized beast, albeit with a slightly more rustic character than one finds in subsequent vintages. (1806 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 5/3/2014: Wine with Steak and Morels (Chez Kailin - Northbrook IL): Tasted double blind. Lots of black fruit aromas and flavors at a feet attractive point in its evolutionary development. Well supported with good spice and structure. Very pleasurable today, but this has the stuffing to continue to age well. (1752 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 8/26/2013: Birthday Celebration (Del Frisco - Chicago IL): Brief note. Black currant aromas, same flavors with some cherry, overall very good balance. Well textured, good length and finesse. (3089 views)
 Tasted by Wine_lvr on 7/1/2013 & rated 94 points: Shafer Hillside Select Vertical Tasting (Switzerland): Well the 1991 is a whole different caliber than the 1990. Garnet red. Cherries and dark berries in the nose. The wine has a wonderful sweetness is very smooth and elegant. Lots of dark fruit and chocolate. Just wonderful. Drink - 2020. (3116 views)
 Tasted by closdupapes on 1/18/2013 & rated 95 points: Just a beautiful wine- grace and elegance in the bottle. It no is the behemoth that is was 10 years ago. It has mellowed and the fruit has really come into its own. The finish lasted for minutes. Sad it was my last '91. (2687 views)
 Tasted by Didman on 9/14/2012 & rated 90 points: This seemed quite closed at first, but as the evening wore on became quite delicious with aged cabernet aromas becoming more evident. (3118 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 9/4/2012 & rated 92 points: Dinner with Friends (Inovasi - Lake Bluff IL): Black fruit and subtle spice aromas, then completely identical on palate. Very good balance. Perhaps a little less interesting overall vs. another bottle from earlier this year with showed a little more cigarbox aromas and acidic edge. (3444 views)
 Tasted by fdub on 8/26/2012 & rated 91 points: Tasted at the Vintner's Club in SF. Tasted along with the 91' Dalla Valle. This tasted and smelled like lightly stewed red fruit. Fully resolved tannins but slightly out of my flavor realm. This came so late in the evening that I couldn't fully appreciate. (2307 views)
 Tasted by gutt22 on 6/7/2012: Medium red color, with light bricking at the edge of the glass. Beautiful nose of mature Cabernet fruit, leafy earth, cigar box, and spice. In the mouth, elegant and impeccably balanced, with tasty cool black fruit and a dried fruit note, along with prominent secondary notes from the earthy, spice, and cigar notes. Smooth mouthfeel throughout, with a long, pretty finish. This is a complete, beautiful example of mature Cabernet. A (2268 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 4/8/2012 & rated 93 points: Cassis and black currant aromas with tobacco, cigar box and dark chocolate. Very balanced palate of black currant and black cherry, good spice and some emerging earthy flavors. Tannins and acid provide excellent support towards long finish. This is a wonderful "old fashioned" California Cabernet that comes across as less ripe, lower alcohol than vintages from the past decade. (1883 views)
 Tasted by 1961Vintage on 4/7/2012 & rated 95 points: Decanted for an hour..evolved nicely in the glass...very complex and drinkable...Worth every year of waiting. Enjoyed at my son's 21st birthday dinner...1991 for 1991. (1716 views)
 Tasted by AllRed on 9/28/2011 & rated 95 points: Finishing up Saturday's remnants. Deep color. Notes of blackberry, cassis, chocolate, licorice, blue fruit and violets. Perfect balance, with a terrific velvety texture and flavors of black and red fruit and herbal qualities. Superb. (2167 views)
 Tasted by AllRed on 9/24/2011 & rated 94 points: 4th Saturday Group brown bagger (Our house): Dark color. A little mushroomy to start; then black currants, violets and graphite aromas. Very well-balanced, with flavors of dark fruit, plum and florals, with good acidity and a long finish. Velvety texture. (2450 views)
 Tasted by agbailey on 7/31/2011 & rated 94 points: Enjoyed during celebration of our anniversary weekend ... and an interesting contrast to a 91 Dominus had the night before. The HSS had very powerful dark fruits on the nose. Flavors were of dark fruits with still strong tanins and nice acidity. Long finish. Very powerful wine and still drinking incredibly young at this point. Delicious wine that my wife and i definitely enjoyed, though we slightly preferred the Dominus. If blind would have thought this was from 2001 or later. This could easily go for another 10-20 years, and if you are considering drinking and are certain of provenance, I would definitely hold for at a few years at least. (2377 views)
 Tasted by winopops3 on 12/29/2010 & rated 94 points: Beautiful rich garnet color. Nose of tobacco and chocolate. Beautiful dark fruit on the palate along with the tobacco and chocolate-tannins present but soft. The finish is long enough to satisfy. This wine tasted amazingly fresh to me given the fruit, and likely has many more years ahead of it. 94-95 (2748 views)
 Tasted by tahoe1231 on 10/16/2010: Drank for dad and tracys bday (2786 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (6/2/2003)
(Shafer, Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com. (manage subscription channels)

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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



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