We’ve enjoyed Shafer’s wines for a long while. Its 2008 releases are now hitting the market. A year remarkable for its smaller crop yields, these wines are shaping up to offer uncommon intensity.
2008 Shafer Merlot Napa Valley – Not as smooth as many modern Merlots can be, this expression has a lot of tannin and greenery and its fruit is kicked to the background. Genuinely lovely undercurrents of lavender, licorice, and blackberry emerge over time, after an hour or so in the air, but it’s a long time coming. B+ / $48
2008 Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Stags Leap District – A 15.1 percent alco-bomb, which explains the intense fruit on this. It flirts with the jamminess of Zinfandel, which, to be frank, is just too much. It’s almost like a fruit pastry — pleasant and enjoyable, but too sweet for dinner. Secondary tobacco, cedar, and smoky wood notes are enchanting, but can’t measure up to the burly body. B+ / $70