Bright, saturated ruby. Very ripe aromas of black cherry, licorice, molten chocolate, mint and minerals; some very ripe suggestions. Generous, plush and powerful if still youthful and brooding. The flavors of dark berries and spices show a chocolatey ripeness as well as a savory tobacco quality. Conveys a strong impression of depth and a tactile impression of extract. This thick, savory wine finishes with strong but suave tannins and terrific breadth and length, filling the mouth without turning ponderous. Very impressive! (ST)
Another very bold and impressively concentrated effort, the 1999 bottling is a broad, many faceted Cabernet whose ample ripeness and generous appointment of rich oak are always complementary themes to its deep, vital, very well-focused fruit. It is still a young wine with a very long lifeline, yet, even now, it has bloomed into a *** beauty that will tempt present drinking. Originally reviewed at **.
Combines the richness and power of youth with the subtleties of age. Big, ripe and expressive, with tiers of ripe currant, black cherry, plum and mocha, showing a touch of cedary oak and finishing with a long, pure, focused finish. (JL, Web-2009)
A vintage I was never as fond of as many of my colleagues, the 1999 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select certainly proved that they may have been more correct. Certainly not one of the all-time Shafer Hillsides, but nevertheless, a youthful, tannic, firm, structured wine, with more intellectual than hedonistic appeal at age 16, this wine has a dense purple color to the rim, notes of licorice, tobacco leaf, blackcurrants, followed by relatively high acids for a Hillside Select (or at least they present themselves that way) with some rather massive tannin. This is a big, medium to full-bodied wine with a Bordeaux-like structure imposed on it. It’s still moving in the right direction, and should hit its peak in another 4-5 years and then last for 15-20. (RP) 93+
Shafer's flagship wine is still a baby. The nose is extremely ripe with suggestions of prunes in armagnac. The whole is very robust and the tannins crowd in on the back palate at this stage. Lots of terroir influence and not too much pandering to current winemaking fashion for smoothing out every wrinkle – so much the better. This is a BIG wine but it's well made and should turn into a lovely adolescent. 18/20
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