Minerality, tobacco leaf, ash, blackberry, plum, smoke, caramel, earth, spice box and coffee notes created a complex bouquet. Rich, intense, concentrated and packed with layers of sweet, ripe, juicy fruit, this delicious wine ended with a finish of close to 50 seconds! I wish I owned a bottle of the majestic elixir. Rumor has it, part of the reason for the wines success was in picking extremely ripe fruit, by accident. The fruit was harvested later than the Shafer's wanted, because they had trouble finding enough pickers for their debut wine.
Bought on release and well stored until now. Jeweled ruby and not old looking. Beautiful cassis, herbal notes and perfume. Still very fruit driven. An intoxicating lung filling nose. Wonderful texture and flesh with great focus and depth. Still a fruit driven wine with more cassis and stony fruits with some leather and herbs adding complexity. At peak and flat out delicious.
Tasted on 4/7/07. Magnificent wine, right at its peak! Nose of liquid roses, saddle leather, and sweet oak. On the palate, the sweet fruit belied its age. Very alive and fresh, with fully integrated tannins, soft and lush, complex and thrilling. This wine will certainly not improve, but has showed no sign of starting to decline. Makes me believe a tired bottle five years ago was just a bad bottle, and not a sign of this wine in decline. What older California Cabs are all about....
Shafer Hillside Select Vertical (Zealous - Chicago, IL): Dark ruby hue. Seductive and inviting aromas of earth, smoke, leather and red currants. Velvety smooth palate has pure fruit and totally resolved tannins. Long and integrated with cigar and tobacco leaf filling the finish. Sexy. Served blind --- guesses ranged from 89 Haut Brion to Harlan. I was pegging this as late 80s cal cab in an old world style. Quite impressive for a 29 year old. 4+14+17+9=94
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