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 Vintage2009 Label 1 of 24 
ProducerShafer (web)
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationNapa Valley
UPC Code(s)013528200029

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2013 and 2017 (based on 13 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Shafer Merlot Napa Valley on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 91.4 pts. and median of 92 pts. in 108 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Bob in NC on 7/1/2015 & rated 93 points: Absolutely delicious. Layers of flavors. Blueberry fruit, lots of black pepper and some baking spice, forest floor and well integrated tannins. Start enjoying this now if you haven't started already. (145 views)
 Tasted by joet626 on 4/18/2015 & rated 91 points: Wonderful nose on this. Was OK at first but really opened up after 30 minutes to a wonderful cherry taste. (522 views)
 Tasted by jkvedar on 3/14/2015 & rated 93 points: Fabulous drinking right now. Poured through an aerator and really needed no further decant. Agree with others that this is very cab-like. Lots of vanilla and baking spice on the nose. Dense core of dried dark cherry, blackberry and cassis. Long, complex finish of pepper and spice. (602 views)
 Tasted by rickv2wine on 2/18/2015 & rated 92 points: Drinking beautifully here but a little hot out of the bottle so a decant or two later we had a soft, supple cab drinkers merlot! (717 views)
 Tasted by patsox on 2/3/2015 & rated 93 points: This is an intense yet balanced Merlot from an outstanding producer. Truly top drawer stuff, and a great Super Bowl wine with barbecued beef ribs. Many thanks to the Shafers and Malcolm Butler!! (805 views)
 Tasted by swade on 1/16/2015 & rated 94 points: Deep purple. Huge draw of cassis and blackberry compote aromas. Tipping to cabernet aromas. Lush, velvety entry. Interesting palate of black cherry, licorice, liquid smoke and oak spice. This is rich and caressing. The finish just sticks. Glorious wine. 94 (870 views)
 Tasted by rickv2wine on 10/15/2014 & rated 92 points: The nose on this wine is complex with fruit and spice, layers upon layers. The body is a little more backward and dominated by red fruit. The wine will age for several more years. Definitely a merlot for cab drinkers (1252 views)
 Tasted by Ceo on 7/21/2014 & rated 93 points: Velvety and smooth. Cherry and a touch of licorice like previous notes. Drink or hold very nice! (1590 views)
 Tasted by smokeandmirrors on 5/31/2014 & rated 100 points: Perfection, end of story (1642 views)
 Tasted by jimyeni on 4/13/2014 & rated 91 points: Solid, nice fruit (plum, black cherry) and nice oak notes. (1797 views)
 Tasted by blawrence on 4/10/2014 & rated 94 points: Merlot is a wine that I usually get when in the company of hundreds of people attending a fundraising event, and budget wines always win the stage. Shafer Merlot is not one of those wines; and I keep 375ml bottles for when I'm solo. This wine is full bodied, wonderful wafting nose of dark berries, add tastes of chocolate expresso with a little cinnamon, deep purple in color, well integrated tannins, silky soft and mouth watering... served with spaghetti tonight; what a nice wine. (1690 views)
 Tasted by drumice on 1/25/2014 & rated 90 points: Did not take detailed notes as we brought the bottle with us for dinner. Very tasty wine, I remember the dark fruits, round tannins, and similarity to cab. Very tasty. (1816 views)
 Tasted by danielbleier on 1/5/2014 & rated 90 points: Wild flower and plum on the nose, adds black cherry and a touch of licorice when tasted...Medium grain tannins add structure. (1305 views)
 Tasted by danielbleier on 1/5/2014 & rated 90 points: consistent with other bottle on 1/05 (1542 views)
 Tasted by jkvedar on 1/2/2014 & rated 92 points: I love this one! Lots of fruit, vanilla and oak right out of the bottle at 60 F. Smooth on the palate. (1133 views)
 Tasted by swan64 on 12/10/2013: 전형적인 바닐라와 버터맛..
오크향이 너무 강한 .
메를롯이라 먹기는 좋지만 그리..... 결국은 남아버린 미국 와인 (1403 views)
 Tasted by Trolson on 11/11/2013 & rated 91 points: I always enjoy Shafer wines. And, while not particularly distinctive, the usual big noise and depth. (1322 views)
 Tasted by thetong on 9/9/2013 & rated 90 points: Pretty nose full of red fruit with vanilla and wood mixed in. Silky mouthfeel. A lot of oak with a pop-and-pour. A big merlot with clarity of fruit and a backend of heavy oak. If you like oak, this could be a 91+. (1690 views)
 Tasted by Life At Your Leisure on 8/4/2013 & rated 92 points: This is quite similar to the 2008 in style, except it's more subtle in its nuances. Dark purple color turning violet at the rim, this wine has a fragrant, floral nose with hints of vanilla and licorice. The palate is rich and creamy with flavors of red cherry, licorice and spice on a chocolaty character. Finishes with hints of tobacco and herbs. Just sublime. Drink now with a few minutes of decanting until 2018. (1934 views)
 Tasted by Dagalaifus on 8/1/2013 & rated 91 points: Decanted for an hour. The wine is dark garnet in the glass with a nose of red currants and caramel. On the palate, it is full-bodied, almost extracted with kirsch, vanilla, cinnamon, cedar and oak. While it has a nice, long finish, it's approachable with integrated tannins; so, I would consume it now, rather than wait for it to improve over the next few years. It's frequently described as a Merlot for Cab lovers, and does have the flavor profile of an opulent Napa Cab, which begs the question -- if you love Cab, why pay $50 for a Merlot? (1671 views)
 Tasted by amorell on 8/1/2013 & rated 89 points: A modern, friendly Napa merlot. Medium to full-bodied, juicy and ripe, and enough lingering tannins to keep it together. Very drinkable but it's probably too rich to have more than a shared bottle. (1787 views)
 Tasted by mafouz on 4/21/2013 & rated 92 points: Decanted three hours. Excellently aromatic with baked plum and cherry, cedar, cocoa, vanilla and eucalyptus on the nose. The palate doesn't quite live up to the nose for me, but it's packed with cherry, raspberry, tobacco and a lengthy finish with hints of oak. Superlative integration. A great experience overall. (2675 views)
 Tasted by PSPatrick on 3/24/2013 & rated 88 points: We decanted the wine for one hour and fifteen minutes before we poured the first glass. It kept improving as time passed and drank better after 2+ hours in the decanter. The wine offered cherry, plum, spices, vanilla, cinnamon and tea on the ripe nose. On the palate the wine was full-bodied and ripe, with cherry, plum, spices, vanilla, cinnamon, some coffee and dark chocolate flavours, and with medium- to medium-plus acidity, medium-level tannin, a good, creamy mouthfeel and very good length. A certain delicious-factor was undeniable, but to me the Zin-like wine was overdone, palate-tiring and boring. Not build to age. Decant for 1.5+ hours and drink now through 2016. (2240 views)
 Tasted by mactheknife on 1/31/2013 & rated 92 points: Consistently well made wine; dark fruit, integrated tannins and structure with slight vanilla/oak notes that are seamless. Great value again. Not sure the Shafer Merlots are meant to be aged very long, but it never lasts in my cellar anyway. My guess is that 10 years would max this wine out. (2750 views)
 Tasted by RayOB on 1/15/2013 & rated 92 points: Drank in Hong Kong
Not as complex and rich as the '08 but a wonderful drink at this price point. (2680 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Antonio Galloni
Vinous, New Releases from Napa Valley (Dec 2011)
(Shafer Vineyards Merlot Napa) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (2/24/2012)
(Shafer Merlot) Medium dark ruby color; lavender, berry nose; tasty, lavender, berry, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points (92% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec; 20 mos. in French oak, 75% new; 15.1% alcohol)  92 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and RJonWine.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.


Merlot variety: Wikipedia | Appellation America | CellarNotes


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

Napa Valley

Napa Valley AVA

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