I think we all know that wine lovers need no special occasion to drink a "great" wine, but posting a celebratory cause to the drinking is always a good thing. With that said, I decided to celebrate my one thousandth post with, for some, a one hundred point (98 RP) Cabernet Sauvignon. Only in opening, breathing-in, and slowly, methodically tasting such a special wine will tell-the-tale of how I judge the Shafer Hillside Select.
Now, I'm not saying I'm any more qualified than my neighbor or my aunt to judge, but unlike them, I'm willing to spill my "brains" about it. Hopefully, that's all I spill!
Shafer Hillside Select 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $186.99-$219.99 (current prices start at $244.99), 97 points, certainly sets the standard for excellent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The appearance of crushed black currant and blackberry is black at the core and lends itself to a rich purple/red toward the quite leggy glass wall with a transparent rim.
The spectacular bouquet of cedar, violets, sweet cooking spice, pine resin, and warm toasty loam is absolutely beautiful.
Near full bodied, the Hillside Select carried good acidity with persistently fine tannin (This wine is ready to drink now!).
Flavors perfectly mirrored the bouquet, translating onto the palate in a waltz of harmony with a velvet texture and a perfectly balanced 15.5% alcohol.
Finished very long on the trailing palate with white pepper, Cholula, thyme, and spearmint.
As I tasted this wine upon opening, it's important to note that hours after opening, The Hillside Select gained a developing panoply of aroma (perfume notes) and recess flavors of tobacco and anise. Though this development added to this Cabernet Sauvignon's complexity, it also (for me) slightly detracted from the cleanly pristine nature of my first impression.
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