Shafer ‘Hillside Select’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Hillside Select is a wine of a place, sourced from carefully selected blocks of Stags Leap District hillside vineyards.These grapes are small and deeply colored, with concentrated flavors enhanced by meticulous winemaking and extensive aging in French oak barrels. Hillside Select consistently expresses the voluptuous fruit, rich flavors, and velvety texture that characterize grapes grown in this renown AVA.
Vineyard Location 100% hillside vineyards in Stags Leap District including Shafer’s estate vineyard blocks Sunspot John’s Upper 7, Venado Ilegal, and Firebreak
2017 Growing Season A lengthy, warm summer allowed the fruit to hang in near ideal conditions for a long, long time producing clusters of fruit with vivid color, enticing flavors, and unrivaled aromas.
Varietal Composition 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Brix at Harvest 24.0° – 26.0°
Cooperage 32 months in 100% new 60-gallon French oak barrels (Allier and Tronçais)
“The 2017 is our 35th vintage of Hillside Select and this release more than earns its place in this classic, elegant lineage. In the glass you’ll find rich, opulent aromas of blackberry, cocoa, black cherry, rhubarb, rose water, and espresso. The mouth is a juicy, energetic cascade of summer bramble fruit, cassis, black licorice, red plum, fresh cracked pepper, and baking spice with a lengthy, compelling finish. All this decadence comes wrapped in ripe tannins for long-term aging in your cellar.” —Elias Fernandez
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 – The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker
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! Rating: 98+
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. Better from 2024.
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