Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

$499

I should not be surprised that the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select merited a perfect rating since I rated it 99 eight years ago. I also gave the 2002 Hillside Select a perfect rating. Kudos to Doug and John Shafer for creating two perfect wines in back to back vintages. The 2001 is a big wine (14.9% natural alcohol), but the alcohol is buried beneath an avalanche of creme de cassis, wood smoke, toast, licorice and spring flower characteristics. Super full-bodied with fabulous fruit purity, a broad, expansive mouthfeel, lots of glycerin and a huge upside, this 2001 is still an infant at age ten, but it is approachable as well as compelling to smell and taste. It has at least another three decades of aging potential ahead of it and is one of the great young, legendary classics from Napa Valley. It was a privilege to taste. There are approximately 2,000 cases of this cuvee which comes from Shafer's hillside vineyards in the Stags Leap area and is aged 32 months in 100% new French oak. Robert Parker

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WARNING: DRINKING DISTILLED SPIRITS, BEER, COOLERS, WINE AND OTHER ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES MAY INCREASE CANCER RISK, AND, DURING PREGNANCY, CAN CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS.