1996 Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select
Cabernet Sauvignon - 1.5L
  • IWC 93
  • WA 93
  • WS 92

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IWC 93
Stephen Tanzer's IWC, May 2000
...Dusty aromas of black cherry currant licorice and menthol. Sweet lush and velvety; fat and full. A generous fruit-driven impressively long wine with enticing currant and black plum flavors. Very ripe tannins coat the... ...Dusty aromas of black cherry currant licorice and menthol. Sweet lush and velvety; fat and full. A generous fruit-driven impressively long wine with enticing currant and black plum flavors. Very ripe tannins coat the palate...
WA 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, December 2014
A drought year produced the 1996 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, which is slightly more compact than great vintages, but nevertheless impressive. It offers further evidence that even in more challenging years... A drought year produced the 1996 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, which is slightly more compact than great vintages, but nevertheless impressive. It offers further evidence that even in more challenging years, the Hillside Select is a special wine. Dense plum/purple with notes of cedarwood, charcoal, underbrush and forest, the wine has plenty of cassis, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, ripe tannin, but a slightly less impressive finish than the 1995 or 1994. This wine seems to be in its plateau of full maturity, where it should hold for at least another 10-12 years. - Robert M. Parker, Jr.
WS 92
Wine Spectator, January 2007
Starts out smooth showing rich earthy currant hazelnut and nutmeg scents with a hint of mocha and dense chewy tannins. Still very youthful firm and extracted. The first two bottles were corked.--1996 California Cabernet... Starts out smooth showing rich earthy currant hazelnut and nutmeg scents with a hint of mocha and dense chewy tannins. Still very youthful firm and extracted. The first two bottles were corked.--1996 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2012. -JL
Color & Type Red
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region North Coast
Vintage 1996

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.