Shafer 2017 Hillside Select Stags Leap District Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
98 Points Jeb Dunnuck - In the running for the wine of the vintage, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is an incredible success and offers more depth, opulence, and purity than just about every other wine out there. Revealing a dense purple color as well as a killer nose of blueberries, chocolate-covered cherries, scorched earth, tobacco, violets, and exotic spices, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a seamless, pure, incredibly layered mouthfeel, building tannins, and a great, great finish. As with most top 2017s, it stays tight and compact on the palate, with notable structure and impressive concentration. It has some up-front appeal given its purity of fruit and balance, yet it's going to take 7-8 years to hit prime time and will be a long-lived bottle of Napa Cabernet. Hats off to Doug Shafer and the team for yet another magical Cabernet Sauvignon!
98 Points James Suckling - Wild blackberries and brambleberries on the nose with raw cocoa, cloves and crushed gravel. Violets and orange peel, too. It’s medium-bodied with wonderful purity and depth of fruit, interlaced with dark-chocolate flavors. Firm, well-integrated tannins. Complex and refined with fantastic energy. One of the finest Hillside Selects I have had.
98 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select displays a deep garnet-purple color, bursting from the glass with scents of blueberry pie, crème de cassis, black cherry compote and chocolate box plus nuances of cedar chest, clove oil, lavender and menthol. The richly fruited, full-bodied palate has a lively skip in its step, featuring gorgeous ripe, velvety tannins and fantastic freshness to support all the spicy black fruit layers, finishing long and perfumed. An absolute triumph!
97 Points Vinous - The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is an insanely beautiful wine. The aromatics alone are pure seduction. Juicy, red berry fruit, crushed flower, cinnamon, blood orange and spice give the 2017 quite a bit of complexity, but it is the wine's textural finesse and impeccable balance that elevate it to its place among the very finest wines of the year. Stylistically, the 2017 is a bit more red-toned in profile. Texturally, it is a bit lighter and less opulent than the norm, but that is not a bad thing. The 2017 has always been stellar from barrel, but the from-bottle tasting is the proof in the pudding. It's a tour de force from Proprietor Doug Shafer and Winemaker Elias Fernandez.
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