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 Vintage2004 Label 1 of 74 
ProducerShafer (web)
VarietyCabernet Sauvignon
DesignationHillside Select
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationStags Leap District
UPC Code(s)013528400023

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2010 and 2025 (based on 50 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 94.8 pts. and median of 95 pts. in 193 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Thepattees on 7/2/2015 & rated 98 points: All I can say is "wow!" Smooth and full bodied. One of the best wines I've ever tasted. (196 views)
 Tasted by wineholder on 6/8/2015 & rated 97 points: Great from the start (769 views)
 Tasted by qourtofsommelier on 5/31/2015 8:18:00 PM & rated 86 points: Full body red the 2004 was def at the drink age. (731 views)
 Tasted by AllRed on 4/25/2015 & rated 92 points: 4th Saturday group "uptown" tasting (Our house): Dark color. Opens with grapey black fruit, blackberry syrup and currant aromas...a lot of black fruit in the bouquet. Full-bodied and slightly firm but very well-balanced. Flavors of black fruit and peppery spice. Develops a nice floral note as it opens. Reminds me of a Cab/Syrah blend. 92+ pts.

Well I was surprised when this ended up as the first wine since I intended for it to get a little more air and end up somewhere in the second flight. This was double decanted off its sediment about four hours before this flight was poured. Hold until 2018 if not longer. (1134 views)
 Tasted by D.Callahan on 4/8/2015 & rated 96 points: Excellent as usual. Cassis, and blackberry fruit initially but very balanced overall. Decanted for 15 minutes then left in decanter. The wine stayed excellent for over 2 hours. I then re-corked and put in the refrigerator. I was unable to get to it again for 3 days and I thought it would be ruined when I tasted it again. It was past its prime but not undrinkable at all. Amazing! (1412 views)
 Tasted by bblack1 on 3/27/2015 & rated 98 points: Thank Goodness there are members out there like MR T and DREAM, it reminds me that I do have a brain that is functioning, relatively speaking. Dream says the wine's nose is "gorgeous" and the "smell and taste… is Grand Cru", then goes on to suggest this wine doesn't pair well with food, such as "filet mignon", then further blames things on the vintage. Lord help us, I'm at a loss for words here, but I'll do my best. Dream, just so you know, there is nothing more difficult to pair with massive, rich, extracted cali cabs, than food. Yes, these wines typically do well with BIG red meats, or barbecue, big stinky cheeses, etc., but rarely with filet mignon (unless smothered in some big wine reduction) due to the fact that filet mignon is NOT a fatty, rich cut of beef, it typically doesn't stand a chance with a rich cali cab like SHS. Food needs acidity, low alcohol, which is opposite of your classic massive cali cab. Then to say "what a waste of an amazing terroir"?, Good Lord (again), I'm not sure how to even respond to such a statement. Terroir? Napa? What in the world type of terroir are you suggesting? SHS is CLASSIC Napa terroir. SHS is what you get my friend, unless Elias (wine maker) has simply missed his calling and has no idea what he's doing at Shafer, which I guess is possible (but I don't think so). BTW, flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, etc., are typically a result of time in (and composition of) oak barrels, and doesn't have much to do with the flavor profile of Cabernet. Mr. T, I have NO idea what you are saying, period. "slow oxen for a few hours and then to club". hmmmm. And, they cheat using RS (I assume residual sugar!?). hmmmmm, again…. wow. I'll propose, anyone that wants to compare a cali cab to a french grand cru should be willing to spend time in the penalty box, say, 10 years or so. Sorry. (1332 views)
 Tasted by WestJohnson on 3/7/2015 & rated 96 points: Dark purple color. Almost opaque. Brambly, almost wild nose. Loads of black fruit - plum and black currant. Bright acidity - lighter on its feet than the color would indicate. Long, complex finish. Only complaint is that the tannins are a bit rough and drying. I'll hold on to my last two bottles for a bit. Still very primary. (1384 views)
 Tasted by ricknat1 on 12/21/2014 & rated 90 points: By, rdu very good Cali cab, not my cup of tea but very good bottle (2151 views)
 Tasted by Rsds5105 on 12/19/2014 & rated 98 points: Opened up for 40 minutes ...best wine we have ever shared..exploded with fruit ......sorry to have to finish
 Tasted by bubbachumps on 11/29/2014 & rated 96 points: Fantastic wine, in a great window but many years still ahead of it. Notes of cassis, blackberry, minerality, a lfloral component and a touch of smoke. In the mouth, a big wine that is light on its feet (if that makes sense) and a long finish. Very well put together, as it should for the price point. Totally delivered a classic experience! Delicious! (2154 views)
 Tasted by Thirsty1 on 11/29/2014: I think this was the consensus wine of the evening over 06 Colgin IX estate, 85 Phelps Backus, 94 Down's Port and 09 Kosta Browne Sonoma Pinot. This wine was in a real sweet spot. Warm blackberry, hint of minerality, dark and chewy. Present but relaxed tannin. This wine kept opening up more and more over the evening. Thought provoking. It was dense and had sweet oak on the nose. This is a youngster that also has years and years ahead of it. It's great to drink now and don't feel rushed if you've got it in your cellar. (1820 views)
 Tasted by Uglypinga on 11/21/2014: This is a near perfect wine from the get go. Cassis, cocoa, black pepper and dust on the nose. The palate is at once intense and ephemeral. Cassis, blackberries, hints of grilled beef and firm tannins. Amazing wine. (1921 views)
 Tasted by GlenviewGSW on 11/9/2014 & rated 96 points: Dark opaque purple color with a clear rim. I get a little bit of minerals on the nose with lush fruit. Wine is rich, bold and expressive and tannins are still very much present on the finish indicating the wine has a ways to go still. Soft and full initial mouthfeel the wine has a fairly long finish that should improve with 3+ years bottle age. Outstanding. (1516 views)
 Tasted by Harry Cantrell on 11/8/2014 & rated 95 points: Deep garnet. Nose filled the room, black berries, touch licorice. Taste was smooth-even at 14.9%!-but a hair thinner in the midpalate. Nose was astounding, taste was good. (1374 views)
 Tasted by T.E.D. on 10/2/2014 & rated 92 points: University Club NY Selection - 2 hour decant/consumption. Dark and cloudy color, dense blackberry , unfiltered in nature. Nose is big and present, dark berry, jam, pepper jam, evergreen, mint, and toothpaste. On the palate the wine is thick and mouth coating - acute black fruit flavor, dusty berry, chewy cassis, syrup, eucalyptus, evergreen, and clay. Straight forward and bombastic, I question how additional age will benefit this wine given the lack of acid and tannin. Secondary notes are a bit lacking and an engineered quality of the wine is present (lack of terroir?) which is typical I have noticed. Drink now, as the wine will only become flatter over time. (1808 views)
 Tasted by patwjr on 9/20/2014 & rated 96 points: Decanted for one hour; rebottled for restaurant & then drank over 2 hours. A touch tight at first, but by end of 1st glass became so rich & smooth. Beautiful fruit, balance, smooth tannins, still lots of life, but with some air it's fantastic to enjoy now. (1803 views)
 Tasted by floridawinedrkr on 9/19/2014 & rated 97 points: The smell when the bottle was opened was simply amazing. The bouquet and the fruit was incredible. We decanted for 4 hours. This Wine was thick, inky, and very syrupy. It coated the glass. The body is medium/full. The wine had a silky texture, it was incredible smooth and easy to drink. The wine finishes long for 30+ seconds. This was an outstanding bottle. It blew the 2006 out of the water. Not sure there is a better bottle of wine for $265. This holds it own against a $700 bottle of harlan. (1654 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, kept improving over 1-2 hours, outstanding, a bit better than the 2002, neck and neck with the 2001. (1568 views)
 Tasted by yellowbird on 8/30/2014: Powerful yet graceful - this wine is the pinnacle of what makes Napa so known for cab. Decanted for 30 minutes and paired with Italian pastas and red sauce - simply perfect in every way. (1834 views)
 Tasted by Mr T on 6/18/2014: Father's Day
Slow oxen for a few hours and then to club
This is a huge ripe wine
Very strong statement but I am wrestling with why wines like this and Schrader wow us and whether they essentially cheat using RS
Jury out (2725 views)
 Tasted by kenv on 4/17/2014 & rated 94 points: WCC 2004 California Cab Blind Tasting (Fort Orange Club, Albany, NY): Super ripe and gorgeous nose. Similar to above, but more backward and tannic. Needs time, but should be great. 94-97 points. (3089 views)
 Tasted by Winetex on 4/13/2014 & rated 94 points: Dark red with a purple rim; Fragrant spicy aromas and cherry flavors with a long coffee tinged finish. At 10 years old most of the tannins are integrated. This benefited from a careful decant - slow ox for 4 hours and another 2 in the decanter. Excellent wine. A nit would be the overripe, jammy notes that keep it from going into WOW wine territory. (2564 views)
 Tasted by Mike V on 1/20/2014 & rated 95 points: Drank while we watched Richard Sherman become the heir apparent to Terrell Owens as the greatest athlete with the least self awareness in the history of sports. This is in a great place. From Magnum 3 hours in a decanter. True California Cab dark and very fragrant. Beautiful classic fruit with a long finish. (3706 views)
 Tasted by Margauxguy on 1/9/2014 & rated 94 points: Richer and more opulent than the 98. Dark sweet bing cherries, soft silky tannins, Great structure. Delicious (3471 views)
 Tasted by AtoZ on 12/31/2013 & rated 93 points: Needs time to unfurl. Lots of tiny berries. Long. Dense. Smokey at first. Hold 3-5 years. (2753 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By John Gilman
View From the Cellar, May/Jun 2013, Issue #45, Recently Tasted Old School and Neo-Classical American Wines
(Shafer “Hillside Select” Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)) Login and sign up and see review text.
By Richard Hemming
JancisRobinson.com (2/21/2013)
(Shafer, Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2007, IWC Issue #132
(Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap District) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of View From the Cellar and JancisRobinson.com and Vinous. (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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