2011 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 1.5 L

Year: 2011
Appellation: Stag's Leap District, Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 96
Vinous Media: 94+
Connoisseurs' Guide: 91
James Suckling: 96
Wine Enthusiast: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.5%
Price :

"Openly rich and plush, with a dense core of mocha-laced blackberry, charry oak, subtle spice, hot brick and cedary, earthy notes, this hints at a rustic character and is edgy at points, yet the core intensity persists. Ends with drying tannins. Best from 2017 through 2027. 2,400 cases made.–JL " (WS)

"Possibly the Cabernet Sauvignon of the vintage is Shafer’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select. Last year I thought it was a strong effort, but it’s even better now that it’s been bottled. With an opaque black/purple color and notes of subtle burning charcoal embers, blueberry, blackberry and graphite, the wine has a certain Bordelais minerality, but then the richness of Napa kicks in. It’s full-bodied (somewhat unusual for a 2011) with lighter tannins, and no doubt the wine will be on a faster evolutionary track than vintages such as 2010, 2012 and 2013. Nevertheless, the Shafers and Elias said this was the toughest vintage they’d ever experienced. To be able to produce a compelling wine like this is a testament to their extraordinary skills and craftsmanship. This wine can be drunk now or cellared for another 15-20 years.

Shafer’s Hillside Estate Vineyard consists of 54 acres all on steep, amphitheater-like, rocky outcroppings and knolls. It receives the full benefit of southeasterly sunlight, and enjoys the afternoon breezes that blow up from the San Francisco Bay channel. An unusual geographic feature, this vineyard is basically a box canyon. The top soil is virtually non-existent as the bed roots that go into the white tofu volcanic soil base rarely extend more than 18 inches before hitting bedrock. This no doubt is a significant reason for the intense flavors achieved by the Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, and why it is able to spend 32 months in 100% new French oak without a woody taste." (WA)

"The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is gorgeous today. Sweet, floral and expressive, the 2011 speaks to finesse above all else. The 2011 is lithe and elegant, especially within the context of Hillside Select, yet all the elements are in the right place. Savory and floral notes add an attractive upper register on the close. One of the real highlights of the year, the 2011 continues to get better with time." (VM)

"Very much reflecting the ripe and weighty bias of Hillside Select bottlings, Shafers's latest is again a big-bodied effort of enormous richness and depth. Although unabashed ripeness is its driving force, it is kept on track by a generous measure of concentrated, curranty fruit that survives the effects of its ample tannins and palpable heat. It is not and is unlikely to be an elegant wine that will find refinement with age, but time will tame its youthfully coarse edges and make for a commanding Cabernet of great substance and power. Reviewed: December 2015" (CG)

"Extremely minty with dried flowers, dark berries and currants. Full body but refined, with super-integrated tannins. The wood, ripe fruit, tannin and acid balance is beautiful. Wonderful potential here." (JS)

"This mighty icon of the Napa Valley shows it can handle a cool vintage with as much power and velvety grace as in any other year, providing plenty of grippy tobacco, leather and cedar atop a tannic backbone and mouthwatering mouthfeel. A 100% varietal wine fromvarious estate-farmed vineyard blocks, it guards its minerality with a steely gaze, rationing out black currant, clove and tobacco in measured waves. Drink now through 2021." (WE)