Shafer's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is all high notes. Sweet red plum and cherry notes meld into mint, spice and new leather, all supported by silky, polished tannins that add finesse to the plush fruit. Rich, opulent and beautifully textured throughout, the 2009 is going to provide fabulous, viscerally thrilling drinking pretty much right out of the gate. This is a great Hillside Select. Frankly, I can't imagine anyone who enjoys Hillside Select not wanting the 2009 in their cellar. The persistent, resonant finish is pure sensuality. (AG)
This is mind blowing stuff. Notes of mint, minerals, currants, blackberries, with hints of cedar. Full bodied, very velvety and chewy. This won't be out until 2013. Winemaker believes this could be the best one yet, and I have to agree.
This is clearly one of the greatest Shafer Hillside Selects ever. It shows incredibly concentrated blackberry, dark chocolate and ripe cassis flavors, wrapped into impeccably rich tannins. Made from 100% Cabernet, it’s a superb example of Hillside. Tasted from the same bottle a day later, the wine was even richer and more satisfying, which is a solid indicator of ageworthiness. *Cellar Selection*
A monumental effort, offering a striking crescendo of dense, rich flavors, beginning with pure dark berry, mocha, tobacco leaf, cigar box, dried herb and crushed rock notes. The tannins are full-strength as well, drying and gripping on the finish as they hold the road tar and cedar details in place. (JL)
As always a decidedly extravagant wine and one that marches right to the very brink of being too much of good thing, the latest Hillside Select will be frowned upon by those who find unabashed richness and size to be faults and joyously celebrated by those of us who do not. It is powerful stuff that is marvelously deep in near-juicy fruit, and it is lavishly appointed with lovely oak, but for all of its largesse, it is solidly built with the structure to age for years. We have seen how its fully ripe predecessors have flourished with time, and we have no doubt that this one will do the same.
The 2009 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is a more ordinarily constructed, compact effort from Shafer, but very powerful, with blackcurrants, cedar wood, vanillin and spice box. The wine is full-bodied, showing outstanding purity, a slightly more narrow framework and a linear personality. Nevertheless, it’s top-notch and a brilliant wine on its own. (RP)
Saturated ruby. Aromas of black cherry, cassis, blackberry and licorice are lifted by a violet element. Concentrated, chewy and penetrating, with its powerful dark fruit flavors enlivened by wild herbs, spices and violet. Not a particularly thick vintage for this consistently outstanding bottling: as savory as it is sweet and light on its feet. The wine's strong fruit blows past the firm, harmonious tannins on the very long back end. Still a youngster, and evolving even more slowly than I predicted a few years ago. This wine should eventually merit an even higher score. (ST) 93+
Similar geography and geology to those of SLV. 32 months in 100% new, 60-gallon French oak barrels. Very sweet blueberry and cassis with a lot of oak spice. Much finer on the palate, with finer tannins, drier and better balanced overall than the majority of these massive Cabs. Much more elegant in its freshness. (JH) 18/20 points
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