94

Shafer

$72

2010 Stags Leap District Napa Valley One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon

Shafer cabernet has helped define the supple richness of fruit from the Stags Leap District, particularly Hillside Select, which comes from the estate’s higher knolls nestled into the escarpment at the eastern edge of the Napa Valley. One Point Five grows on lower ground; a small portion is purchased fruit and the balance comes from the family’s Oak Knoll estate just over the SLD border. In 2010, 30 percent of the blend came from Shafer’s Borderline Estate in Stags Leap, where the team dropped half the fruit to ripen the rest in the cool season. They harvested at 24.5 Brix two days before a late October storm dropped five inches of rain. The fortuitous timing created a wine with that SLD satin texture in the tannins, saturated red fruit and riper notes of dimpled grapes. If there’s raisining here, the fruit is plump enough to fill out the skins, tasting black and earthy, hinting at volcanic dust. This is elegant enough to bridge the gap between terroir expression and luxury wine. Decant it for the holidays with beef Wellington, or cellar it for a decade.

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Shafer Vineyards, Napa, CA

Reviewed by Joshua Greene | Oct 2013

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