Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
VM96: The estate's 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is one of those rare wines that looks like it will be absolutely delicious pretty much at any point in its life. Super-refined and silky, the 2008 caresses the palate with layers of deeply expressive dark fruit. The 2008 is a wine of exceptional textural finesse and pedigree. According to Doug Shafer, cool weather in the spring resulted in small clusters with high skin to juice ratios, always a plus for high quality wines. Today the 2008 does not look like a huge Hillside Select, but is rather a wine built on polish and elegance. It will be interesting to see if the 2008 fills out in bottle, or it remains more restrained in its personality.
WA93: Vanilla, toast, blackcurrants, graphite, earth and foresty notes are all present in the 2008 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select. It has great fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and quite a perfumed personality, but not quite the intensity and length of its predecessor. It could be one of those troublesome pairings where this just happened to follow an out-of-this-world compelling wine. The 2008 is certainly outstanding, just not one of the all-time greats.