Wonderful floral aromas with perfumed roses plus hints of blackcurrants and spearmint. Full-bodied and so powerful and muscular but always showing the brightness and beauty of fruit. Winemakers say this reminds them of the 1978, their first year. It certainly has the structure — "those tannins" as they put it. Finish is so impressive with tar, iron and spices.
All Cabernet aged 32 months in new French oak, the flagship 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is a beauty that offers just about everything you could want out of wine. Blackcurrants, scorched earth, smoky oak and spice aromatics all give way to a full-bodied, concentrated, structured 2013 that has incredible fruit intensity, yet never seems heavy, over the top, or cumbersome in any way.
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select will probably hit the magic three-digit score, but it is a more backward style of wine, although probably even more concentrated than the 2012, and that’s saying something. Fabulous potential of 30-50 years is evident in this profound bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that is inky blue/black to the rim and offers up notes of charcoal embers, scorched earth, blackberries, cassis, blueberries, a hint of coffee, and background barrique smells. Massively concentrated but incredibly elegant and poised, this is a wine of great energy and vibrancy. It is fabulously deep, built like a skyscraper, and set for an incredibly long life. (RP) 98+
Among the Napa Valley's most crowning achievements in Cabernet, this vintage of Hillside Select is stunning, bright and beguiling in every way. Intensely layered, its interwoven flavors burst in black licorice, dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, gun smoke and garrigue. Spicy oak adds to the power and weight. *Cellar Selection* (VB)
Just bottled a few months before this tasting, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Readers will have to be patient with this big, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 doesn't have the sensuality of the 2012 nor the silkiness of the 2011. Instead, the 2013 is a dense, vertical wine that needs at least a few years of cellaring. This is an intensely savory, mineral driven vintage for Shafer's flagship Cabernet Sauvignon. (AG) 97+
Graceful and supple, rich and loamy, tilted toward the savory, herbal side of Cabernet, with modest cherry and currant notes. Displays deft balance and hints of anise and underbrush. Complex throughout. (JL)
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