Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
|Region||California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District|
Very deep inky-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is incredibly intense and impactful on the nose, revealing notes of crushed black cherries, blackberries and fresh black currants with underlying notions of charcoal, sautéed herbs, black soil, chargrilled meat and pencil lead, plus a waft of violets. Very full-bodied, very rich and wonderfully concentrated, the wall of fruit is well matched by a firm structure of ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing with great length and depth.
The famous wine lives up to its mighty reputation in this vintage. Densely packed in tones of red currant, cassis and cocoa powder, the palate offers a sublime texture that lingers despite an overall powerful punch of structure and tannin. Elements of crushed rock and black licorice unfold on the finish. Enjoy from 2024-2034.
Lastly, the flagship 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (the only vintage where it wasn't 100% was in 1984, when it included 9% Cabernet Franc) brought up all in high-class French oak. A textbook example of the balanced nature of the 2014 vintage, it offers a complex bouquet of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco leaf, and subtle minerality. Finesse-driven yet powerful on the palate, with full-bodied richness, its tannin structure is perfectly integrated into the wine, it has notable purity and freshness, and a great finish. It's relatively approachable by this cuvée's standard but has another 20-30 years of longevity ahead of it.
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is one of the more restrained, understated versions of this wine I can remember tasting. Medium in body (in relative terms) and beautifully persistent, the 2014 makes its case more with a total sense of harmony rather than with bombastic power, as is sometimes the case. Moreover, the 2014 has really come together beautifully since I last tasted it. In 2014, Hillside Select is a wine of precision, with expressive aromatics and finely-knit tannins that support the mid-palate and finish nicely.
This shows the dark sage and tobacco edge of the vintage, with a core of gently steeped plum and blackberry fruit emerging slowly. Smoky details pervade the finish, which displays a serious bolt of graphite. Best from 2021 through 2036.