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 Vintage2008 Label 1 of 85 
ProducerShafer (web)
VarietyCabernet Sauvignon
DesignationHillside Select
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationStags Leap District
UPC Code(s)013528400023

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2016 and 2027 (based on 25 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 95.1 pts. and median of 95 pts. in 67 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by jennifercork on 6/18/2015: lovely, balanced, round. paired with friends, Cheezits on the patio (1331 views)
 Tasted by VinoDiver on 6/14/2015 & rated 97 points: Silky, fine tannins. Beautifully balanced. Consumed over 6 hours. Drink now with 3-4 hours of air or hold. (1153 views)
 Tasted by G8tor80 on 5/8/2015 & rated 95 points: Unfortunately a pop-n-pour, was heading to a concert. I thought this was a little more restrained than other vintages I've had, but we didn't give it a chance to really develop. Dark rich fruits, integrated tannin, still a baby. Possibly my favorite Napa Cab producer (1557 views)
 Tasted by harish on 4/10/2015 & rated 96 points: great wine (2136 views)
 Tasted by ewledbetter on 3/29/2015 & rated 95 points: beautiful but will be even better with more time. (2208 views)
 Tasted by Harry Cantrell on 3/14/2015 & rated 94 points: Deep, vibrant red. Nose was on the spice side of the usual Shafer HSS nose-less sweet, but spicier, chocolate and black fruits. Mouth was very smooth for this young a big cab. Delish. (1902 views)
 Tasted by floridawinedrkr on 3/8/2015 & rated 93 points: We drink a lot of Shafer HSS and the 2008's are not ready to be consumed and have not showed their best stuff yet. Over the last 2 days we have drank this 2008 as well as 2005, 2006, and (2) 1991's. The 2008 as it is still an excellent bottle was certainly disjointed as far as Shafer HSS are concerned. It was still enjoyable but it was not what the others were. The finish was rough, it was rough through the mid palate. It wasn't what an HSS usually is and we have drank everything from 1996-2009 as well as the 1991's. We have a very large collection of Shafers. We decanted this bottle for 4 hours and I do not believe it would have improved much with a longer decant. It needs a few more years in the bottle to come around but I do not believe this will ever be a superstar for Shafer. Not even close to the 2001,2002,& 2004's. (2098 views)
 Tasted by bambam on 11/22/2014 & rated 93 points: This needs more time. Huge wine with ripe blackberries and big tannins. This is really hard to drink right now. If you do, I recommend a long decant and a big steak to help soak it in. Give it some time. (3446 views)
 Tasted by Wine Buergler on 11/18/2014 & rated 99 points: I may not have had enough experience with extremely high end wine to justify giving a 99 point score but this wine was absolutely killer. Definitely agree that you need a minimum of 2 hour decant -- I love Shafer and this really delivered. (2702 views)
 Tasted by B Paul on 11/1/2014 & rated 96 points: One of the better wines I've had this year. I would recommend a 2-3 hour decant, or giving it a couple of years (in my opinion, this should continue to improve). (3073 views)
 Tasted by BigTex22 on 10/23/2014 & rated 98 points: We had this wine with a nice birthday dinner at home. I decanted this for 1.5 hours and continued to follow it throughout the evening. The wine had an amazing and complext bouquet on the nose. This wine is powerful - explosive in the mouth and a good minute-long finish. This wine has a long life ahead, 15-20 years or more. EXCELLENT. (3076 views)
 Tasted by JavierE on 10/2/2014 & rated 96 points: Full body and long finish! Very smooth and silky! Great wine! (2382 views)
 Tasted by ageverett on 8/1/2014 & rated 95 points: This was a bold a beautiful wine that really delivered. Ordered at a restaurant and decanted for approx. 1 hour. Continued to open during the meal. Nose is intoxicating; cola, graphite and eucalyptus are present, and finish is long and still leaves you wanting more. Just a stunning expression in a California cab. This clearly has many years left in the tank, but is absolutely approachable now with some air; beautiful flavors and a powerful finish. Bravo. (3658 views)
 Tasted by D.Callahan on 6/27/2014 & rated 96 points: Absolutely beautiful wine. I decanted it for 1 1/2 hours then poured it back in the bottle for an additional 2 1/2 hours before pouring it into glasses. The nose was incredible with rich cassis, floral and spice notes. I could not resist taking deep sniffs before every sip. The palate had the expected huge fruit, cassis, plum, blackberries and a hint of chocolate but it was balanced with elegance by the dusty tannins, moderate acidity and enticing mineral notes. This is not an overpowering wine at all, but a wine layered with flavors that gives the feel of sophisticated elegance. The finish went on for minutes and beautifully complemented the steak. It has years of life left before hitting its peak but a good long decanting opens it up very nicely. Another winner from Shafer. (3568 views)
 Tasted by RoseWater on 6/22/2014 & rated 94 points: A 4 hour decant did not do it justice. Still WAY too big. Great potential and will be a special wine, but I will give the rest of them 4 years or so of sitting before the next one. Dark fruit, tannic and alcoholic right now. (3436 views)
 Tasted by Uglypinga on 5/15/2014: Shafer is never off. At first try it was a bit boozy to me and then food got there. Holy smokes. Raspberries and smoked beef on the nose with an amazingly textured palate full of fresh blackberries, cinnamon, and great chocolate notes. Long and just amazing. (3538 views)
 Tasted by Barbaro on 4/20/2014 & rated 95 points: Decanted for 4 hours. This wine is very refined and silky smooth. Lots of dark fruit, leather, licorice, and tar. A hint of oak on the nose and palate at first but faded with more time in the glass. (3469 views)
 Tasted by Thornhaven on 4/17/2014 & rated 96 points: From the cellar. First time ever have drank a bottle from my cellar. Incredible (2722 views)
 Tasted by km5 on 1/3/2014: Dry oaky very nice and tons of potential (3984 views)
 Tasted by thelostverse on 12/11/2013 & rated 94 points: Opened by Allred at Anvil. This is still an infant in need of time in cellar, but oh, so good. Notes of black fruits, spices and hint of licorice. This will be even better with time. (3687 views)
 Tasted by AllRed on 12/11/2013 & rated 95 points: After the hospitality displayed by Ram, I wanted to open something fun in return, and he likes young Cab, so I decided to pop the cork on this bad boy. Decanted an hour or so, this had an impenetrable inky color and surprisingly open aromatics featuring violets, cassis, plum, chocolate and incense with a meaty undertone. Massive and structured, but with intense fruit as well. Plum, cassis, blackberry, violets, spice, vanilla, currants and chocolate on the palate. Tannins are dense and firm but fine-grained. Long finish. With eleven bottles and two mags remaining in the cellar, this will be a treat to enjoy over the coming decades. (4145 views)
 Tasted by tomlbs on 11/23/2013 & rated 95 points: This juice is inky, garnet - almost black with a huge aroma of blackberries, cassis, chocolate, and spices. The palate is almost overwhelmed with black fruit, spice, a silky elegance of fine tannins, and a finish that goes on and on. I know this wine has all the signs of big rewards with age, but it is so good now it's difficult to wait to find out! (3658 views)
 Tasted by Javachip on 10/3/2013 & rated 96 points: San Diego WineSpectator.com Offline, 10/3/2013 (Farm House Cafe, San Diego): Decanted 8 hours. Inky, glass-staining garnet-black color. Lavish bouquet of sweet black currants and cherries, mixed berries, mint, lavender, milk chocolate, sweet oak. Luscious, rich, amazingly concentrated and powerful, yet balanced and fully approachable at this young age. Long finish. My #1; group's SECOND PLACE tonight. (5080 views)
 Tasted by dase13 on 10/1/2013 & rated 96 points: Decanted for 30 mins. Color was dark red. Scents were red and black berries. Tastes were consistent with scents, plus something like chocolate and nice tannins (not overpowering tannins). (3487 views)
 Tasted by RickyT12 on 9/12/2013 & rated 95 points: Had at the Shafer dinner. Wow, big difference between the 1.5 and this! Very unique Cab. Christmas nose all day. Evergreens, christmas cake, pine needles nose in a great interesting and delicious way. Strong tannins and seems like it could go a long time still. Chocolate covered orange flavor, red licorice, ripe cherry and lindsey tars with powdered sugar. Like this one a lot very unique. This wine is still tight and has a lot of layers that I believe will reveal themselves in the future. The flavors still remained fresh in my mind 4 days later. (3892 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2013, IWC Issue #168
(Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
By Antonio Galloni
Vinous, 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: An Epic Vintage (Dec 2012)
(Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags' Leap District) Subscribe to see review text.
By Antonio Galloni
Vinous, New Releases from Napa Valley (Dec 2011)
(Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2011, IWC Issue #156
(Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap District) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of 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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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.

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Stags Leap District

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