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 Vintage2005 Label 1 of 24 
ProducerShafer (web)
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationNapa Valley
UPC Code(s)013528200029

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2007 and 2013 (based on 10 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 90.7 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 111 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by grapist on 2/18/2015 & rated 91 points: Consistent with previous. (466 views)
 Tasted by grapist on 2/18/2015 & rated 91 points: Dark, aromatic and flavorful (525 views)
 Tasted by iamandyc on 1/30/2015 & rated 92 points: Decanted briefly and drank over three hours. Really balanced and silky merlot. Picked up body with air but might have liked it even better early on when it was crisper and livelier. Red fruited with some oak and notes of dark chocolate. Really liking the 2005 Cali vintage 10 years later. (533 views)
 Tasted by vinovin on 1/3/2015 & rated 91 points: New Years 2015- mellow tannins. Beautiful dark berry and cacao on finish. So smooth (596 views)
 Tasted by rwstorer on 5/31/2013 & rated 91 points: - Crimsom color and aromas of cherry, oak and vanilla. It's somewhat balanced and has flavours of cherry, black currant and cedar - Similar note to previous. (3332 views)
 Tasted by JCaress on 4/11/2013 & rated 92 points: Drinking well now. Dark berry and chocolate. Good finish, minimal tannins. Perfect with carnitas and peppers. (2901 views)
 Tasted by gburden on 3/19/2013 & rated 91 points: Love all of Shafer's wines and this is probably my favorite Merlot. Great body and lots of depth with excellent finish. (3011 views)
 Tasted by Halfeel on 1/18/2013 & rated 94 points: Incredibly smooth and well made Napa Valley merlot. Still drinking very well in 2013. (3225 views)
 Tasted by QSilver on 11/11/2012 & rated 91 points: Last bottle for us from this vintage. Smoky with silky smoothness. Outstanding merlot! (3476 views)
 Tasted by grapedevine on 8/9/2012 & rated 90 points: Wow in a glass. Big and brooding for a Merlot. Dark expressive cherry fruit, rich black fruits, cola, licorice & lots of spice on the finish with well integrated soft tannins. A bit of heat on the nose and palate at first but well disguised with the oak, expressive fruits, spice and everything nice. It is definitely California! Drink now and enjoy. (2207 views)
 Tasted by EvanRose on 6/22/2012 & rated 95 points: If there is a better Napa merlot, I haven't found it. Smooth, full bodied, long finish and dark fruit. Excellent (2141 views)
 Tasted by EvanRose on 5/13/2012 & rated 93 points: Very smooth,good fruit and long finish.one of the best Cali Merlots, year and year out. (2242 views)
 Tasted by deltacop on 2/5/2012 & rated 89 points: Using Bucella as my favorite all merlot comparative, this was just a bottle of merlot. A bit disappointed by not having anything special about it. The nose was simple and not offering much. Taste was simple as well. Nothing harsh or off in anyway but nothing inwould look for again either. Enjoy!!! (2371 views)
 Tasted by EvanRose on 12/31/2011 & rated 93 points: Served this with some Italian meats,fresh mozzarella and ravioli from Arthur Avenue. It was spectacular and smooth as always. One of the best Merlots on the market
The wine looks Purple colored.
The legs are Slow.
It tastes like and Cherry.
The body is Full.
The wine is textured Smooth.
The wine finishes Long. (2371 views)
 Tasted by QSilver on 12/18/2011 & rated 91 points: 2-hours of decanting. Had an at-home family Christmas dinner. Complex but subtle. Not as "big California" as other vintages. Just an outstanding bottle. (2426 views)
 Tasted by hoservin on 11/19/2011 & rated 90 points: 1.5 hour decant. Black cherry, currant, vanilla, and toasted oak on the nose and palate. Medium-to-full bodied. Dark fruit with smooth tannins on the mid-palate. Good structure. Soft, medium length, finish. Paired with roast beef. (2690 views)
 Tasted by rwstorer on 11/6/2011 & rated 91 points: Similar note to previous. Very consistent. (2776 views)
 Tasted by limule on 9/23/2011 & rated 93 points: Excellent,MJ et Dany, (2769 views)
 Tasted by nighttrain99 on 2/27/2011 & rated 90 points: Very good merlot (3664 views)
 Tasted by Dive Shark on 2/15/2011 & rated 92 points: This was a half-bottle. Decanted for only about 10 minutes, then it continued to soften beautifully in the glass. This showed dark fruit and slight tobacco/ tar on the nose. Flavor was the same with a bit of cedar on the finish. Blackberry and dark cherry seemed to be the most prominent fruit flavors. Tannins were chalky, but soft and well integrated...covered the whole palate. I would highly recommend Decanting. Probably will hold on another few years at least but really excellent currently! (3751 views)
 Tasted by AllRed on 10/21/2010 & rated 92 points: Decanted for about two hours. Cherry and red currant notes, hint of spice. Plush, silky mouthfeel, balanced. Lovely red fruit and spice notes on the palate. Drinking very well right now. (4170 views)
 Tasted by godx on 8/28/2010 & rated 90 points: Opened and served right away. Beautiful nose of plums and cherries with a good amount of funk. Flavours of red cherries, plums and earth. Soft and round in the mouth but with good amount of structure. Medium acidity and medium to full body. Drinking surprisingly well for its age. Drink or hold. Excellent. 90+ (4388 views)
 Tasted by psoals on 4/24/2010 & rated 88 points: fruit perhaps fading a bit, a touch of heat peaking out around the edges. (4728 views)
 Tasted by novicedave on 4/8/2010 & rated 92 points: Smooth and delicious. Plenty of black fruits evident, but everthing just in great balance. Decanted for 60 minutes prior to drinking. Merlot has found a spot back in my favor. Glad I have a few more of these. (4793 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 2/27/2010 & rated 91 points: Very smooth, delicious, medium-bodied cherry, excellent structure, a little less comlplex (4944 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2007, IWC Issue #132
(Shafer Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (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.

2005 Shafer Merlot

From the Shafer Release Information:
Vineyards in the Stags Leap District and Yountville. Varietal Composition is 86% Merlot, 8% Cabernet, and 6% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol is 14.9%. Cooperage of 20 months in French Oak barrels of which 60% were new. Growing season was longer than usual and cooler than usual. Harvest was larger than normal.


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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