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Shafer Merlot 2008 (Napa Valley, California) - [WE 93] [WS 92] [ST 90]
Shafer Merlot 2008 (Napa Valley, California) - [WE 93] [WS 92] [ST 90]


Retail Price: $60.00
Artisan Wine Depot Price: $46.99
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Winery: Shafer Vineyards
Varietal: 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
Vintage: 2008
Bottle Size: 750 ml

Product Code: SHAFERMERLOT08-W

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Winemaker's Comments

“2008 Merlot has a lively, perfumy nose that begins the moment the bottle is opened – delicious aromas of red cherry, raspberry, red plum, cherry kirsch. In the mouth are rich, juicy, palate-enveloping flavors of pure red and black fruit, red licorice, and hints of mint and toasted almonds. The tannins are round and smooth and part of the long, pleasing finish.” — Shafer winemaker Elias Fernandez

“One of California’s most popular luxury priced Merlots is also one of the state’s best.”
– Richard Nalley, Forbes

Shafer Vineyards

Shafer Vineyards is a 32,000-case winery in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District managed by the father and son team of John and Doug Shafer. The Shafers own and farm 200 acres of vineyards, sources for Shafer’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah.

Ratings & Reviews

93 Points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
"A huge, fruit-packed wine, made in the Shafer style of mass and potency. With 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and lots of new oak, it’s explosive in black cherry, cherry liqueur and cedar flavors, with a spicy, salty umami taste, like pepperoni. Give it a decant of several hours."  — S.H.  (7/1/2011)

92 Points - Wine Spectator Magazine:
"Elegant and focused, with black cherry and toasty oak aromas that lead to supple red currant, spice and herb notes. Finishes with firm but ripe tannins. Drink now through 2016. 7,200 cases made." –TF (Nov 15, 2011)

90 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar:
"(15.3% alcohol; includes 1% malbec):  Good full red.  Redcurrant, cherry, cedar and rose petal on the nose.  Supple, silky and sweet, with an essentially gentle quality to the red fruit flavors.  Finishes with suave, fine-grained tannins and very good length.  This juicy merlot wears its alcohol gracefully.  Winemaker Elias Fernandez used a bit of malbec to add color and broaden the palate." - Stephen Tanzer (May/June '11)

90 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2009 vintage):
"The 2009 Merlot is an attractive, fleshy wine graced with expressive dark red fruit, flowers, sweet spices and licorice. The wine reveals gorgeous radiance and a supple, inviting personality ideally suited to drinking over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015." - Antonio Galloni (Dec 2011)

92 Points -
Wine Spectator Magazine (2007 vintage):
"Dark and muscular, with blackberry and graphite aromas and youthful, concentrated black cherry and mocha fruit that show notes of roasted herb, with a hint of game." –TF (Apr 30, 2010)

90 Points -
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2007 vintage):
"Still turning out one of California’s top Merlots, the 2007 Merlot (which merited an identical rating last year) combines the elegance and classicism of the Stags Leap viticultural region with the rich berry and chocolaty fruit of Napa Valley. This sexy, lush, medium-bodied, pure Merlot will offer delicious drinking now and over the next 7-8 years.

While still renowned for their portfolio of classic world-class reds, Shafer also turns out a terrific non-malolactic Chardonnay from the Red Shoulder Ranch. The only dramatic change made over recent years is that instead of 100% being barrel-fermented and oak-aged, 25% is now aged in stainless steel which has added freshness and possibly longevity. Introduced several years ago, the Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five cuvee is aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. It is meant to be a reference point Cabernet from Stags Leap priced lower than Shafer’s limited production, usually monumental Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon. Shafer’s flagship offering is their monumental Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select (about 2,000 cases produced). Always 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for at least 30 months in oak, this is one of Napa’s most profound wines. Since 1999, Shafer has made a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend (usually 80% of the former and 20% of the latter) aged 32 months in 100% new French oak. The first vintage, the 1999 Relentless, which they opened at the winery to show how well it is aging, is still a baby at age 11. I rated it 96 points, which is higher than the 93 points I gave it in 2002. So much for California Syrah not aging well! The 1999 is still intense with a plum color and lots of grilled meat, herb, licorice and spice characteristics." - Robert Parker (Dec 2010)

90 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(2007 vintage):
"Moderately saturated red-ruby. Restrained but nuanced nose offers plum, redcurrant, tobacco and nutty oak. A nicely balanced, penetrating midweight with modest flesh but a silky texture and intriguing, understated redcurrant and mocha flavors. This young wine relies as much on its acids as on its suave tannins for structure. Finishes with good persistence and subtle soil tones."

90 Points - Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
(2007 vintage):
"15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very ripe, very sweet and awash in very obvious oak, this outgoing wine embraces the Shafer style to a "tee". It is full, fat and fleshy on the palate with layers of mocha, black cherries, vanilla and cream running its length, but it is also a bit hot at the finish with a rise in last-minute tannins that says it would be wise to set it aside for a few years despite its many immediate appeals. (Mar 2010)"

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