2008 Shafer Merlot


  • USA
  • > California
  • > Napa Valley
Drink between 2011 - 2017
CT91.3 105 reviews
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Community Tasting Notes 64

  • aidyl Likes this wine: (90 points)

    September 6, 2014 - Initial taste after popping the cork suggested it could still use some decanting time. Even after 1 hour, it was still just a touch "hot" or "tight". I would suggest decanting for at least an hour or giving it another year or two in the cellar, as it has clearly not yet reached its peak. This is a very bold, structured Merlot that does indeed drink a lot like a Cab...partially because it is 20% Cab Sauv, and partially because they clearly age it in a lot of new oak. The tannins are still pronounced, and this wine will stand up very well with bold dishes (such as our grilled burgers made with 50% beef and 50% bacon). Presents with tart black cherry and cedar, followed by a hint of chocolate mint and spice on the lingering finish, this is a very structured Merlot that still has plenty of aging potential. Not quite as balanced or elegant as a Carter or similar high-end Merlot, it is nonetheless excellent and recommended for those seeking something more weighty than the typical Merlot.

  • jmottern Likes this wine: (94 points)

    June 29, 2014 - Shafer has the formula for great merlot. This wine was excellent with complex blackberry and other fruits. A most pleasing bottle. It is entering its drinkable zone now.

  • Anonymous wrote:

    May 12, 2014 - decanted for 1 hr. Nose of red cherries, balck tea, and loads of new oak. On the palate- sweet red fruit with balanced acid and tannins with a medium plus finish. After a coupe of hours this wine really opened up to reveal some darker fruit and kirsch on the nose with hints of tobacco and mint. The palate became deeper and more rounded as well. Very nice merlot.

    1 person found this helpful Comment
  • MemorialWineFan Likes this wine: (91 points)

    March 24, 2014 - The only merlot I like. Drinks like a cab.

  • Tarrant wrote: (93 points)

    January 25, 2014 - Amazing intensity and power, obviously like most excellent 'Merlots' I'm sure there is a liberal infusion of Cab Sauv (25%?) for structure sake and as always it works so well together, we had this alongside a similar vintaged Duckhorn that edged this one due to having similar intensity, but a touch more elegance (This Shafer came in at 15.3% alc.) - Dark, full bodied with a nose of extreme plum, black fruit, cedar, cigar box and vanilla, very well structure and surprisingly balanced with the high alc., it was velvety smooth on the palate with terrific length, very tasty! (93 Points).

1 - 5 of 64 More notes

Pro Reviews 3

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Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

  • By Stephen Tanzer
    May/June 2011, Issue #156 (link)

    (Shafer Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.

  • By Richard Jennings
    2/24/2012 (link) 92 points

    (Shafer Merlot) Medium dark ruby color; redolent, ripe blackberry, violets, black currant nose; tasty, black currant, blackberry, violets palate; medium-plus finish (80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon; 20 mos. in French oak, 75% new; 15.3% alcohol)

  • By Richard Jennings
    5/5/2011 (link) 93 points

    (Shafer Merlot) Nearly opaque purple red violet color; violet, berry, blackberry, vanilla nose; rich, berry, blackberry, vanilla palate; medium-plus finish

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 2008
  • Type Red
  • Producer Shafer
  • Varietal Merlot
  • Designation n/a
  • Vineyard n/a
  • Country USA
  • Region California
  • SubRegion Napa Valley
  • Appellation Napa Valley

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 4 (0%)
  • In Cellars 776 (62%)
  • Consumed 472 (38%)

Food Pairing

No food pairings available.

Who Likes This Wine

100% Like It  14 votes