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Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Hillside Select is aged a full four years prior to release (three years in Alliers and Tronçais oak barrels and one year in the bottle). While enjoyable today, this wine will gain richness and maturity with up to 20 years of careful cellaring.
The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select performed even better this year than it did in 2007. It possesses an inky/ruby/purple color, a juicy perfume of black currants, black cherries, graphite, charcoal, and toasty oak, superb opulence, a fleshy mid-palate, a multilayered mouthfeel, and a dazzling finish. This flamboyant, sexy Hillside Select can be enjoyed now and over the next 20 years.Score: 97. —Robert Parker, December 2008.
Pure, rich, intense and vibrant, with tight, sharply focused, vivid black cherry, blackberry and black currant fruit that has a nice dusty, loamy edge and ends with a pleasant burst of ripe fruit flavors that are long and persistent. Best from 2009 through 2014.Score: 94. —James Laube, October 31, 2008.
A perfect score has to be considered in the context of its region. Shafer's 2004 Hillside Select is tremendous as a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that competes with its peers at the highest levels. It's always a fabulous wine, but in warm 2004, Shafer's amphitheater vineyard sheltered the grapes, ripening them to perfection yet protecting the "iron fist in a velvet glove" structure that André Tchelistcheff defined as Stags Leap. This 100% Cabernet is tremendous in cassis, black currant and mocha flavors, and the 100% new French oak provides perfect additions of smoke and caramel. It's soft and gorgeous enough to drink now, and should age well in a cool cellar for the next 20 years.Score: 100. —Steve Heimoff, March 01, 2009.
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