*Three Stars* This deeply drafted, optimally ripened wine won enthusiastic recommendation when first released, and it remains our favorite Hillside Select of the 1990s. It has developed layer upon layer of real varietal complexity, and its broad sweep of sweet oak only serves to enrich its wealth of juicy, curranty fruit. It is a big, very rich, uncommonly well-proportioned wine whose integral tannins assure another ten years or more of peak drinkability.
A spectacular wine, the 1994 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select begins a succession of profound Hillside Select cuvées that continues nearly uninterrupted (1996 misses slightly) to the present day. It is a further indication of just how impressive this team’s performance has been at this winery. The fully mature 1994, which has another 15-20 years of drinkability ahead of it, exhibits a complex, nearly flamboyant nose of subtle oak, blue, red and black fruits, graphite and licorice. The gorgeous aromas are followed by an opulent, full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel that coats the palate. (RP)
Good full red. Warm, inviting aromas of red berries, plum, meat, truffle and chocolate, lifted by a subtle floral element. Wonderfully plummy, spicy and dense, boasting a dusty, tactile quality and complicating notes of tobacco, sage and roasted meat. Finishes firmly tannic and long, with excellent nuance and lift. Made from what Elias Fernandez described as 'a big, warm, rich Napa Valley summer with a great fruit set.' He added that the team dropped a lot of fruit and that the grapes benefited from long hang time. (ST)
A dark, dense and potent youngster, with a tight core of juicy blackberry and black cherry fruit that's deeply concentrated and supported by firm, ripe, integrated tannins. (JL)
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