Red

2004 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
  • Stags Leap District
Drink between 2011 - 2027 (Edit)
CT95.2 308 reviews
2004
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Community Tasting Notes 229

  • NuTricks wrote: 98 points

    April 30, 2021 - Holy sh*t!! What a beautiful wine! Ruby on the edge and opaque ruby purple after that. It’s tremendous in cassis, black currant and mocha flavors, and the 100% new French oak provides perfect additions of smoke and caramel. It’s perfectly balanced between the smooth velvety tannins and almost sweet acidity. Yes, it’s an iron fist in a velvet glove. Full bodied at 14.9 ABV. Wonderful long finish. I’ve got one more bottle that I’m going to find it hard to keep my paws off of. Honestly, it truly can just be sipped on it’s own. It does not need food. Just a slight amount of fine sediment that the Nuance finer caught. And it truly sang in the Riedel 🍷 Wings CS stem. Simply luscious!

  • Derek Darth Taster wrote: 94 points

    April 9, 2021 - Friday evening at Bishan. Significant air-time in decanter already. Drank in Grassl 1855.
    Appearance is clear, deep intensity, ruby colour. Legs.
    Nose is clean, medium+ intensity, with aromas of deep earth, red dust (somewhat like Rutherford dust although this is Stags Leap district AVA), mocha, coffeebean, blackberries, blackcurrant essence. Developed.
    On the palate, dry, nice high acidity, high alcohol (14.9%), smooth integrated but very high tannins, full body. Medium+ flavour intensity, with flavours of highly focused blackfruit - essence of blackcurrant, blackberries, black cherries, black plums, then followed by mocha, coffeebean and dark earth and dust ?ash. Long finish.
    Very good quality. Very fine excellent Cabernet Sauvignon example. Great drink. Whether it is worth the asking price is another thing altogether.

  • gteran76 Likes this wine: 95 points

    March 11, 2021 - Drank alongside a 2010 VHR during our anniversary dinner.

    The nose is delicate but persistent, flowers and earth. Big body, massive attach of tannins and good acidity. Everything is in good harmony. This may be at its peak but don't be afraid of holding for many more years if you which to do so...

  • sfwinelover1 Likes this wine: 97 points

    February 22, 2021 - First of 3 (about $210 each, but this and the '05 undoubtedly more expensive than the '06) from a '04-06 vertical bought at auction just under 2 years ago. On the nose and palate, mixed dark berry compote, cassis, black cherries, smoke, dust, coffee, minerality, some floral notes, and lesser notes of anise and dark chocolate in a very tight package. Purplish black, full-bodied, giant legs. Wall of tannins, medium+ acidity, no heat. Medium++ complexity, extraordinary intensity and persistence. This came out of the bottle as if it had just gone into the bottle, with a cork that was rock solid and looked a day old, and even the vibrant fruit was eclipsed by enormous tannins. After 3 and a half hours of air, the fruit nosed in front of the tannins, and this became a memorable drink. I'm at a moment in my life when it's desirable to cull my cellar a bit of older/better/more expensive wine, and this wine, with its '05 sib, were near the head of the class. The HSS is a consistent winner, vintage in and vintage out, and this didn't disappoint, showing massively, powerfully yet with impressive balance, between the fruit and the formidable structure (distinguishing it, IMO, from many of the more modern cabs, with their outstanding fruit but often wanting in structure), between the savory and the sweet, continuing to improve over the 3 nights it's been opened (interestingly, though, it tightened back up at the start of night 2, needing half an hour of air and vigorous swirling to let go of its charms), shining as a standalone and as an accompaniment with rack of lamb, spaghetti and meatballs and chocolate. I rank this wine as a peer of the best TRB wines, both of which were ranked higher by the pros and CT--the '14 Maybach Materium and the '14 Outpost True--the '14 Barnett Rattlesnake and the '04 Dominus; awesome company, to be sure, yet just below my HoF Cab/Bordeaux pantheon of the '12 Ovid, the '16 Spotteswood, the '90 Montrose, the '10 Abreu Thor and the '06 Verite Joie. What those wines had, which this superlative one does not brings to mind a conversation I had with the ever wise beyond his years A_M as we sipped that wonderful Vajra Bricco on Saturday, when, discussing a '10 of this bottling (infanticide, I say!) said he thought that the wine was perfectly made and delicious yet boring. While that's not a term I'd use for this, I know what he means, as that prior group of wines, to me, had a sexiness I'm not sure I find here, a sexiness borne of the dialectic of the powerful and the subtle, the intense and the lithe, the persistent and the lifted. The '04 HSS is all baritone--beautiful baritone, but still the baritone of the all black fruit--no soprano, all full orchestra, no solo flute interludes. I'm glad that the people reading this are likely just as much wine geeks as I am, as this absence, to anyone else in the realm of $300+ wines, would just see this so much as a plutocrat lighting his Cohiba with a $100 note, but for the CT cogniscenti, perhaps this is the difference between an outstanding wine and a truly extraordinary one. Very early drinking window--could certainly ascend toward or even into said pantheon--but in no danger of dropping off any time soon. Great stuff, and wouldn't take an arm twist to get me to splurge on another bottle, all of the above notwithstanding. 97++

    2 people found this helpful Comment
  • Canoehead Likes this wine: 95 points

    January 20, 2021 - Open that special bottle night. Had stood bottle up for 2 days prior to opening. Top 2/3s of cork was dry and broke off. Bottom 1/3 was firmly sealed. Decided to push cork into body and decanted using cheesecloth to catch all cork bits and subsequently some of the suspended residue. Massive immediate aromas of sweet black cherry, black liquorice and a baked nuttiness. Layers of flavour impressions on the palate. Cherry clafoutis, berry coulis, mocha, savoury Dutch liquorice, roasted nuts. Med+ body with the finest tannins and well integrated acidity and alcohol. Concentrated but not jammy. Quite elegant. Served with a smoked brisket and all the traditional sides.

1 - 5 of 229 More notes

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Vinous

  • By Stephen Tanzer
    Vertical Tasting of Shafer’s Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select (Jul 2016), 7/1/2016 (link)

    (Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.

  • By Stephen Tanzer
    Horizontal Tasting of Napa Valley’s 2004 Cabernets (Jun 2015), 3/1/2015 (link)

    (Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap District) Subscribe to see review text.

View From the Cellar

  • By John Gilman
    May/Jun 2013, Issue #45, Recently Tasted Old School and Neo-Classical American Wines

    (Shafer “Hillside Select” Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)) Subscribe to see review text.

JancisRobinson.com

  • By Richard Hemming
    2/21/2013 (link)

    (Shafer, Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District Red) Subscribe to see review text.

Vinous

  • By Stephen Tanzer
    May/June 2007, IWC Issue #132 (link)

    (Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap District) Subscribe to see review text.

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 2004
  • Type Red
  • Producer Shafer
  • Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Designation Hillside Select
  • Vineyard n/a
  • Country USA
  • Region California
  • SubRegion Napa Valley
  • Appellation Stags Leap District
  • UPC Code 013528400023

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 31 (0%)
  • In Cellars 4,159 (63%)
  • Consumed 2,385 (36%)

Food Pairing

Community Recommendations

as a standalone, Beef tenderloin, chocolate, Creamy Polenta, Dave - steak tips in NH, English Peas & Pearl Onions, Leg of lamb, PAN ROASTED COLORADO LAMB LOIN, Prime Rib, Rack of lamb

Who Likes This Wine

100% Like It  90 votes

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