84 Points

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - On a rainy, wet, cold, early-summer night, following the kids' last day of school, we popped and poured this split to warm our cold bones. The color is dark, with cherry edges. The nose is of muted earth, twigs and worms in the soil. On the palate, the wine has only a hint of Cabernet fruit -- it is mostly dark, bitter, espresso, coffee grounds, soil and charred bark. It tastes much more like a syrah than a cabernet sauvignon. On the positive side, however, the wine is clearly very, very young, with heavy tannins, and really should not be consumed this early. Normally, I'd never open a Shafer short of the 10-year mark. This bottle, however, was a 375 ml bottle, which is perfect for the early sneak peek and a Wednesday night quaff. Given the current structure of this wine, I do not predict great things for its future. Too sour -- not enough Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. Dusty, slightly bitter and sour -- not much fruit. Unless there is some magical shift, this will simply tame down into something more mellow, but not very sweet or fruity. Spend your money on something with more promise.

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