1995 Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select
Cabernet Sauvignon - 1.5L

  • WA 98
  • ST 90

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WA 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, December 2014
Interestingly, the first thing that came to my mind in smelling the 1995 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select was a relatively young vintage of Château Latour. Another fabulous effort, with notes of blackcurrants... Interestingly, the first thing that came to my mind in smelling the 1995 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select was a relatively young vintage of Château Latour. Another fabulous effort, with notes of blackcurrants, graphite, a touch of vanilla, sweet tannin and a full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel, this vintage offers stunning aromatics of black fruits, earth, charcoal and lead pencil shavings. In addition, there is an intense, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a youthful vibrancy and vigor that are sensational. This is an amazingly young wine that’s coming up on 20 years of age and another great example of just how these best terroirs of Napa can produce incredibly long-lived Cabernet Sauvignons. It should last at least another two decades as well. - Robert M. Parker, Jr.
ST 90
Stephen Tanzer - Antonio Galloni's Vinous, June 2016
90+ Bright, saturated ruby; looks like a current release. Brooding, medicinal aromas of blue fruits and cassis complicated by leather and peppery herbs. Big and rich, but with a slightly intrusive oak note of creosote... 90+ Bright, saturated ruby; looks like a current release. Brooding, medicinal aromas of blue fruits and cassis complicated by leather and peppery herbs. Big and rich, but with a slightly intrusive oak note of creosote. Finishes with big, slightly drying but fine-grained tannins. I find this a bit green-edged but it's still evolving. My bottle of the same wine at my vertical tasting at Shafer (to be published in the next few weeks) was much better.
Color & Type Red
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region North Coast
Appellation Napa
Sub-appellation Stag's Leap District
Vintage 1995

Winery

Shafer Vineyards

Shafer Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley. It was founded in 1972 by John Shafer who left a 23-year career in the publishing industry to pursue a second career in wine. After purchasing a 210-acre estate, the family faced the arduous task of replanting the existing vineyards which dated back to the 1920s.

Evolving from grape growers to vintners, the Shafers crushed their first Cabernet grapes in 1978 and began construction on their winery a year later. The first Shafer Cabernet became a benchmark, winning the acclaimed San Francisco Vintners Club taste-off upon release and, over a decade later taking first place in an international blind tasting held in Germany, where it outranked such wines as Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateau Palmer.

Doug Shafer became winemaker in 1983 after graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. A year later, Elias Fernandez joined the winery as assistant winemaker. Together Doug and Elias have worked closely to forge the Shafer style of quality, consistency and elegance.

New vineyards have been added over the years, with acreage acquired in the Oak Knoll, Stags Leap and Carneros districts, bringing the total Shafer vineyard acreage to over 200 acres. Winery facilities have been expanded and extensive caves carved into the hillside for aging wine.

In 1994, Elias was appointed winemaker, and Doug took over the reins as president when John became chairman of the board.