2018 Shafer "One Point Five" Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Shafer

¥17,930 (incl. tax)

Two vineyards in the Stags Leap District, the Hillside Estate and the Borderline Vineyard, provide the fruit for this fine wine. But One Point Five is named to commemorate the 40+ years that John Shafer and his son, Doug, worked together to build one of Napa Valley’s premier estates. The 2018 is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec. Describing the vintage, Shafer winemaker, Elias Fernandez, noted that “a lengthy, cool, steady summer created ideal conditions for the fruit to hang on the vine a long time, developing bold color, enticing aromas, and vivid, complex flavors.” About the wine, Antonio Galloni said, “Bright, floral and punchy with terrific energy…. Super-ripe red and purplish berry fruit, lavender, mint and sweet spice all abound in this pliant, beautifully layered Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2018 is a gorgeous wine in the making – that’s all there is to it.” This is young Cabernet at its most intense and powerful. Cellaring for a few years would be wise, but if you can’t resist opening a bottle, be sure to decant and give it some time to open up.  

Winery


Winery Description

In the Stags Leap District, Cabernet Sauvignon is king. The well-drained volcanic soils and climate cooled by regular San Pablo Bay fogs produce cabs that are silky, supple and voluptuous: “an iron fist in a velvet glove.” While the Stags Leap District is now world class, when John Shafer moved his family there from Chicago in 1973, it was a place of rocky hillsides and rundown vineyards and orchards. At that time, “up-valley” was the focus of premium winemaking whereas this rocky corner of the valley did not even have an agreed-upon name. But as the land was affordable and had supported vineyards in the past, John Shafer decided it was the place to pursue his dream in wine.

Shafer Vineyards is a moderately-sized, family-owned operation whose pursuit of quality in both viticulture and winemaking helped define not only their own winery but the Stags Leap District as well. At the start it was just John and his son Doug doing everything, from terracing the hillsides, to planting vines, to making and selling the wine. Doug was only 17 when he began helping his father transform the old farm into a modern vineyard. He went on to study enology at UC Davis and became Shafer’s winemaker in 1983. Success came quickly to Shafer Vineyards, with its very first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon winning the prestigious San Francisco Vintner’s Club taste-off. Shafer’s Hillside Select, the winery’s showcase made from 100% Cabernet grown on the steep slopes surrounding the winery, became a benchmark that epitomized the complexity, richness and elegance of the Stags Leap District. While Shafer built its reputation on its Cabernets, the winery also produces Merlot and Syrah from estate vineyards just outside the Stags Leap District as well as Chardonnay from Carneros. Shafer’s 2008 Relentless, a blend of Syrah and Petite Syrah was selected as Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year for 2012.  Despite success and high demand for its wines, Shafer Vineyards chose to remain small enough to be manageable, capping growth at about 32,000 cases. In addition to John and Doug Shafer, that team includes Elias Fernandez, who joined in 1984 and has been winemaker since 1994. The charm of drinking a glass of Shafer wine comes from knowing that the folks who made it are so intimately acquainted with the land, the vineyards and even the individual vines. In this age of global conglomerates, it is a quality that deserves to be cherished.

About this Wine


Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Stags Leap District (Napa)
Winery Shafer
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 30.0
Case Size 35.5 x 26.5 x 31.0
Alcohol 15.3%
Product Code SH18NCB
UPC 013528800014

Owning & Enjoying


Tasting notes

95 points – James Suckling; 93 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate; 93 points – Antonio Galloni.

A lovely perfume proffers blueberries, cassis, and cloves as well as hints of bay leaves, cloves and gravel. The wine is full-bodied, and firm, layered with black fruit wrapped in chewy tannins and refreshing acidity.

Production


Vinification

Meticulous vineyard management (suckering, leafing, culling) helps ensure consistent ripening. Grapes are picked by hand, manually sorted, destemmed and then sorted again by optical berry scanner. The must is fermented on a prepared yeast. The wine aged 20 months in 100% new French oak.

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