One of the world’s great wines and profound expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select. This wine spends more than 30 months in 100% new oak, and, year in year out, has been one of the most singular and profound examples of Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. It seems Shafer began to ratchet up performance during the 1990s, and the first decade of the 21st century has provided a treasure trove of either perfect or nearly perfect wines, including the 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and more recently the 2010, 2012 and, in all likelihood, the 2013. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select (about 2,000 cases produced) is another one of those “wow” wines, but it does it with a sort of measured richness and restraint and extraordinary subtle character, like the Gary Cooper of Napa Cabernet Sauvignons – authentic, tall, straight-boned, but substantial and worthy of introspection. Inky purple, with a classic nose of creme de cassis, licorice, a touch of vanilla and forest floor, the wine hits the palate with a gorgeous display of measured, but substantial fruit, body and intensity. Not a component is out of place, and the wine remarkably pure and persuasive. Combine great winemaking with great viticulture and a special terroir, and this is the result. Readers are in the presence of genius when tasting this wine.
"One of the world's greatest wineries."
- Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate
Shafer Vineyards traces its beginnings to 1972 when John Shafer left a 23-year career in the publishing industry and, with his family, moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a second career in wine. After purchasing a 210-acre estate in Napa Valley's Stags Leap District, the Shafer family faced the arduous task of replanting the existing vineyards, which dated to the 1920s, and terracing the steep and rocky hillsides, eventually expanding vineyard acreage to its current 50 acres.
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. From a modest beginning of 1,000 cases in 1978, the winery has grown steadily until reaching its present size of 32,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Syrah.
As the #1 back-vintage retailer in the US, Benchmark Wine Group prides itself on being a trusted source for the greatest wines in the world. Their unparalleled market knowledge and exceptional service have come together to provide the most accessible cellar of rare and sought-after wines with a guarantee.