Shafer Hillside Select: An Expression Of Pure Volcanic Terroir

The 2012 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon Is The Perfect Expression Of Volcanic soil and was rated 100 points by Robert Parker Junior and can be cellared till 2046: “Shafer’s flagship wine, and one of the world’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignons, is the Hillside Select, which comes from the rocky, volcanic soils on hillsides above the winery. Vineyard production is small, and the wine an incredible example of Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in 100% new oak for 32 months and bottled unfiltered, this can generally be expected to be one of the top dozen or so Cabernet Sauvignons in virtually any vintage in Napa, and certainly possesses 25 to possibly 50 years of aging potential. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is a perfect wine. It elicits more than a few “wows” when you smell the incredible notes of charcoal, graphite and subtle toast, buttressed and dominated by blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry fruit. The purity of these fruits, the multidimensional mouthfeel, the seamless integration of acid, alcohol, tannin and wood are all flawless. The 2012 signature adds an extravagant opulence and density that is just mind-boggling, and the wine is a total hedonistic and intellectual turn-on already, although it has 30+ years of life ahead of it.”

Terroir Is The Key

The Stags Leap District AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within the Napa Valley AVA 6 miles (9.7 km) north of the city of Napa Calufornia. The Stags Leap District was the first appellation to be designated an AVA based on the unique terroir characteristics of its soil. The soil of this region include loam and clay sediments from the Napa River and volcanic soil deposits left over from erosion of the Vaca Mountains. Like many Napa Valley AVAs, Stags Leap District is particularly known for its Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1976 at the Judgement of Paris Wine Tasting, the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet from the area that would become this AVA won first place in the red wine category, beating out classified Bordeaux estates. Today, the Stags Leap District is home to twenty different wineries

John Shafer began working and replanting steep, rocky vineyards in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District in 1972, and has since built Shafer into one of the most sought-after labels from Napa. John, his son Doug, and winemaker Elias Fernandez call themselves farmers, and are proud of it. Doug took over the vineyards in 1989, and within a year began to integrate organic techniques into his vineyards while the term “organic” still elicited sideways looks. “My soils were getting tired,” Doug says. “They had been farmed since 1922.” He installed solar panels in 2004, and now enjoys watching his batteries send power back to the grid. Elias was hired by Shafer in 1984 and named winemaker in 1994. Shafer Hillside Select is a benchmark wine of the Stag’s Leap District, with a string of awards too long to list. Aged a full four years prior to release, it is, in the words of Robert Parker, “One of the world’s, as well as Napa’s, most profound Cabernet Sauvignons.”

Hillside Select is sourced from a collection of 14 small vineyard blocks planted within an eons-old amphitheater-like structure of rock and volcanic soil that surrounds the winery. Thanks to scant soil nutrients and moisture, yields at harvest are meager and the berries are small, about the size of blueberries. This Stags Leap District site’s combination of rugged, arid soil and climate results in lush Cabernet Sauvignon fruit with dark color and intense, classic flavor

Peak Prosperity Consulting Presents Oenophile: The Investment Grade Wine Fund. Aim: 5%-10% Per Annum. Provenance & Auction: London. Details: inquiries@ppchk.net

Ashwin Binwani/Blue Phoenix Lifestyle: “If you have time to drink only one bottle of a Napa Valley Wine, this is THE wine to drink. Period. The 2012 Shafer Hillside Select Is A Legend That Has Emerged From Pure Volcanic Soil Deposits left over from the erosion of the Vaca Mountains.”

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