Fabulous wine, punctuated on the nose by rich cedar, oak, and roasted almonds. At first it was somewhat restrained, but it opened gorgeously emphasizing dark fruits, spice, and a slight graphite minerality. 94-95
2 hour decant. Pleasant nose. Not overly flowery or fruity. Quite drinkable for a relatively young wine but a few years behind 07'. The front is already well integrated but turns quite hot as it rolls off the tongue. Finish is also pleasant with a hint of bitter but not long. This will get better but likely not a lot better. Over all very pleasant but not a serious wine. Drunk together with 07' Shafer and 08' TNVR. Overshadowed by its older brother and overpowered by the reserve.
Coravin'd a large stem that sat for 2 hours before drinking. Nose is a little rougher on the edges than the '09 which I also sampled tonight. Mouthfeel shows some tight-grained tannins which are evident throughout. While there's great dark fruit here along with spicebox, tobacco, there's an obvious youthfullness shown in charred vanilla/oak. A solid wine today, much better things to come. Hold or decant based on the short air time allowed.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 complex 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Dinner with Doug Shafer. Very impressive wine. Was a little worried whether I would like it as the one point five cab is not a favorite of mine. But I liked this quite a bit. The depth and richness of this wine is extraordinary. Nose is packed tight with black fruit, christmas cake, jelly doughnut, some spice. Huge wine with dark chocolate and layer upon on layer of blue/black fruits, cassis. Complex and well balanced. Velvety chewy tannins onto a great finish. Very young, but still drinking nicely now. I like this wine a lot.
Two hour decent. Dark concentrated color. Nose jumps out immediately of Napa oak/fruit style. On the palette huge fruit profile, but also velvet smooth. Tannins medium to medium plus, fruit layers continue throughout and into a very long finish. Not great complexity, you can drink now for the long, layered fruit or hold for years to see where it's really headed.
Dark purple in color. Long legs. Nose is full of dark purple fruit, licorice, toasty oak. Very inviting nose. In the mouth this is so good with smooth texture like velvet everywhere. Long finish that unfolds with layers of fruit. A really really good bottle. Not sure it is worth the price but would drink this at any occasion possible.
Winery Tasting Note: 2008 Perfumy aromatic elegance leads to rich, focused flavors of blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, cola, cassis, juicy black and red cherry, black tea, with spice and warm toast. Ripe, silken tannins result in a pleasing, lengthy finish, smooth texture, and a refined structure which offers the potential for very long term aging. Drink now – 18/20 years.
Tasted a little more like candy or sugar water than wine. Great stuff if you like all the fruit you can handle, but just not enough balance for me. How the times and styles have changed. I can remember the 2002 having great balance.
So young but so beautiful. Core of fruit and sexy oak suggests its less tannic than other Napa heavyweights but may last longer. Dark fruit, oak and leather envelope the seamless Shafer style. I think one may be able to enjoy this now with a brief decant or hold for 10-20 years, Cheers!
4th Saturday group "uptown" tasting (Rich & Dana's): R&D are going to miss the April tasting the day after our anniversary, so the March uptown theme seemed a good reason to move our two bottles up. Decanted only a couple of hours prior to the tasting due to a busy schedule.
Dark color. Black fruit and a bit hot at first, along with vanilla, red fruit and currants. Full-bodied with firm tannins and flavors of ripe dark fruit dominating. Tannins have a chalky quality to them. Impressively long finish with vanilla and red fruit qualities. 93+ pts.
Later on with dinner this had opened a bit more and the alc calmed down a bit. Will be utterly impressive at peak, but needs time or 8+ hours in a decanter if drinking now.
This was an outstanding bottle that was smooth and complex all at the same time. The nose was full of deep dark fresh fruit and the mouth was so elegant and smooth. This bottle has a lot of life left in it but I am thrilled I tried one. Drink now till 2021
Decanted for two hours, but still a little closed, I think, because it tasted a little monolithic. Concentrated? Yes. Rich? Yes. Beautiful blueberry fruit? Yes. Endless finish? Indeed. But complex? Not really. Plus, too powerful for the lamb stew we ate with it. Will try another bottle in five years.
Stunningly impressive at this very young stage. Dark red-purple color. Fragrant nose of assertive but not overbearing oak, ripe cassis fruit, and classic Cabernet tobacco and spice box notes. In the mouth, balanced, forward, and endearing. It has an uncanny complexity and balance at this stage, although the tannins are assertive on the finish. This is impressive. A
Wow nose of smoke, beef, mint and raw blackberries. The palate is big and brawny with blackberries, chocolate, coffee, chicory, and lots of spices. Young and fat and certainly in need of time but a delicious, complete wine. Awesome.
Inky in color, with an intense aroma packed with chocoalte, licorice, jammy plums, spice and earthy scents. Full bodied, powerful and concentrated, the wine ends with a palate filling, opulent, ripe, fat finish.