John Shafer, Doug Shafer
Dear Shafer Friend:
or three years 2005 Hillside Select has matured in French oak barrels and then
rested another year in the bottle. At last we’re pleased to announce the imminent
release of our signature wine from this outstanding vintage.
This is a Hillside Select brimming with youthful, dark, juicy qualities all of which will
quiet down and evolve beautifully with time in your cellar.
The official release date for this wine is September 1, 2009, however, as a Hillside Select
mail list customer we’re offering this early opportunity to reserve your allocation.
Ordering Your Wine
The best way to secure your wine is to use our online store at www.ShaferVineyards.com.
For those who do not have Internet access, we are able to take your order by telephone.
Remember that to remain on the Hillside Select list, we ask that you purchase at least one
bottle of this release by August 1, 2009. In order to protect the wine from potential heat
damage, we will ship your order during the cooler weeks of November 2009.
Before closing we want to acknowledge something important – in the world outside the
quiet of our vineyard and cellar it’s been a tumultuous year. Many of our friends both
in the wine and in the restaurant business have faced historic challenges. Through all of
this we have been deeply honored by the continued strong support of Hillside Select
customers like yourself.
On behalf of everyone at Shafer, we want to thank you.
John & Doug Shafer
2005 Hillside Select®
Abundance and Elegance in 1997, which was an unusual year in that crop
loads were fairly high and, thanks to extended cool
a cooler-than-typical summer, which allowed us
to leave the fruit on the vine until it achieved true
Hillside Select Tastings Notes
Based on recent tastings from 750ml bottles with Doug Shafer
weather and hang time, we harvested fruit with physiological ripeness.
T h e 2005 v i nTag e p ro d u c e d and Elias Fernandez. A complete list is on our website:
voluptuous, mouth-filling flavor.
ex quisi T e fru iT To s pa r e Experienced Team http://www.shafervineyards.com/wines/hillside.php.
Unlike 1997, early on in 2005 we knew we
The other element that played a major role in wine
were headed for a big crop. After fruit set we were 2005
he 2005 Hillside Select emerges from a vin- quality comes down to logistics in the cellar. Even
seeing a tremendous number of clusters crowded From a year of abundant fruit we selected only the best-
tage that started with ample spring rain. Then with a great deal of fruit thinning, we still saw
with berries. of-the-best from our small vineyard blocks. Pure varietal
as if on cue, the weather cleared at the right tonnage up 20 to 30 percent. Fortunately we had
The growing season was the saving grace for aromas of blackberry and cassis almost seem to press the
moment for a good, solid fruit set on our the experience of 1997 under our belts and were
a crop of this size. It was a longer-than-usual and cork out of the bottle followed by juicy flavors of black
hillside vineyards. Set is a critical phase in which able to successfully manage the circus of getting
cherry, currant, cassis liqueur, black plum, dark chocolate,
the vine’s tiny flowers become small green berries. vineyard crews in place at the right times, running
spice and tobacco. The exuberance of these flavors comes
When set is good, it bodes well for the vintage, an efficient crush pad and playing the game of
in a knitting of ripe, round tannins that promises, as
since it means you’re more likely to harvest fruit find-a-tank. we’ve seen with this wine, that the power of youth will
that’s uniformly hitting peak ripeness. The good news about the size of the vintage one day mature into the smoky elegance and complexity
“The weather that summer reminded me of was that it allowed us to select only the top tier of of age. Drink now – 20 years
the 1970s here in the valley. When I was in high the wines we made and to sell more than usual to
school I remember we’d have fog and overcast until the bulk wine market. 2004
noon. Then we’d have clearing with heat and great This is a classic Hillside Select striking a balance of dark,
Winemaker’s Notes lush, jammy fruit with youthful elegance. These are the
sunlight all afternoon,” says Doug Shafer.
“This Hillside Select is dark and voluptuous with rich density, enduring aromas and flavors of our hillside grapes – loads
Delicious Harvest balancing elegant, extracted fruit and youthful power. These of blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate, juicy black cherry,
In Stags Leap District our vines were heavy are the signature aromas and flavors of our hillside vineyards black pepper integrated nicely with oak, char and vanilla
with beautiful, inky colored Cabernet Sauvignon. – loads of blackberry, black cherry, cassis, dark chocolate, and all tied up in a bow of silky, firm, easy-to-enjoy tannins.
Overall the fruit reminded us of what we saw black spice integrated seamlessly with vanilla and oak, all drawn In terms of its weight and style, this one is a close relative
together by silky-textured, ripe tannins. This is a vintage that of the 1999 vintage. Drink now – 19 years
Vineyard Location: 100% Shafer’s Hillside Estate I’d compare to 1994 and 1997.”
Vineyard in Stags Leap District including vineyard — Elias Fernandez, Shafer winemaker
The aromas of blackberry, black cherry and spice combine
blocks such as Sunspot, John’s Folly, Upper Seven,
power and perfume while the wine fills the mouth with a
Hitching Post, and Venado Ilegal “… displays a Bordeaux-like personality … black purple
rich abundance of cassis, blackberry, toasty vanilla, mo-
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon color, stunningly sweet fruit, and a gorgeous bouquet of
cha, herbs, and a seamless integration of soft, ripe Stags
underbrush, forest floor, crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings,
Brix at Harvest: 24.0° - 25.5° Leap District tannins. Expansive and juicy in the mouth
and toasty barrique are found in this ripe, full-bodied, deep,
Alcohol: 14.9% with flavors that remain long after the glass is empty.
stunningly well-balanced, substantial wine with undeniable
Drink now – 14 years
Cooperage: 32 months in 100% new 60 gallon French complexity as well as richness.”
oak barrels (Allier & Tronçais) — Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate
Suggested California Retail: $215 Continued on last page
Enjoying Your Wine
To D ecant or Not to D ecant the blender, however, simply tasted older and, to
S elec ted Pairings Shafer FAQs
Answering your questions about Hillside Select.
B y e lias f er na n d e z , s h a f e r I once read that the musician Tom Petty r e c e nT food maTches We ’ ve e n j oye d
W i n ema k er doesn’t like to use the Dolby feature on stereo WiTh h i l l s i d e s e l e cT Q. If I order now, when will my order ship?
equipment. As a musician, he said, he wants to hear A. We hold Hillside Select until the cooler month of
ou’re at a restaurant and order a special, all those hisses and pops and sounds in the high Here’s a sample of some recent dishes that have gone nicely November to ensure that your wine won’t be exposed
older red wine with dinner. The sommelier upper range. Dolby, as I understand it, essentially with various vintages of Hillside Select. While we can’t provide to extremes of heat in transit.
presents the bottle and asks, “Would you shaves off that upper layer of sound. recipes, the descriptions alone provide delicious hints as to the
Q. Is there a way to purchase more Hillside Select
like me to decant this for you?” As a winemaker I see a corollary with aeration. array of ingredients that enhance both what’s in the glass and on
than my current allocation?
It may sound like a mandatory “yes” but It can rob the wine of its full range. And I prefer the plate.
A. Yes, if you don’t mind visiting our winery. We will
it’s not. To know the right answer for you, it’s best instead to allow the wine to change and evolve over release 2005 Hillside Select on September 1, 2009, and
1994 Hillside Select
to know what decanting does and time in my glass. in keeping with Shafer tradition we have set aside a
Veal Breast and Basil Pesto Risotto
doesn’t do. small allocation to sell to anyone who visits the winery.
Separating Sediment CraftSteak, Las Vegas
First, many wine lovers use The limit is two bottles per purchaser and we typically
The true dictionary definition of
the term decanting interchange- 1999 Hillside Select sell through in one to three weeks.
decanting is to pour a liquid from
ably with aeration, which actually Duo of Kobe Beef: Braised Short Rib with
one vessel to another. In the case Q. When should I drink my Hillside Select?
means bringing the wine into Fricassee of Mushroom and Aged Striploin with
of wine it’s when you pour an A. That’s a bit like asking when you should fall in love. The
contact with oxygen. Some people Casserole of Spring Beans
older wine carefully into another answer is: when you’re ready. We release the wine after
like to pour a young, tannic red Tribecca Grill, New York
vessel for the purpose of separat- four years of maturation here at the winery because
wine out of the bottle and into a
ing the wine from the sediment 2001 Hillside Select we believe it can be enjoyed in the full spiritedness
separate vessel exposing it to a lot
that has collected in the bottle. Braised Whole Abalone with Cheese Sauce of youth. And as far as we can tell the majority of our
of oxygen, essentially speeding up
With an older wine I do two Lotte Hotel, Seoul, Korea customers drink their wine within ten years of release,
the aging process.
things. First, I stand the bottle or less. (Sometimes much less.) However, we also hear
2003 Hillside Select
Extreme Aeration upright 24 hours before pulling the cork, giving from passionate fans of this wine who believe that
Stuffed Chicken drinking Hillside Select prior to that 10-year anniver-
As a way to demonstrate aeration for a friend, I the sediment time to settle to the bottom. Then, I
Breast with sary should be a felony offense. Please consult the
recently opened a bottle of a 2006 Cabernet Sau- simply pour the wine carefully out of the original
Endive Brisee tasting notes in this booklet to get a sense of what
vignon and poured a taste into one set of glasses. bottle into the glassware. (Remember, the shoulder
and Apricot appeals most to you.
Then I emptied half the bottle into a blender and of the bottle is there to help collect sediment as the
turned it on – simply a form of extreme aeration wine is poured.) This exposes the wine to a mini-
Shilla Hotel, Seoul, Q. What’s the best way to remove an older cork?
(and kind of fun). mum of disturbance and allows an older beauty to A. The safest way is to use a two-pronged wine opener
I poured a taste of the “blenderized” Cabernet evolve in your glass. known as an Ah-So. With practice using this opener
into a separate set of glassware and we tried both. Be gentle with an older wine. If it’s over-aerat- 2004 Hillside Select will give optimal results with a fragile cork. Please
We agreed that the wine poured directly from ed or roughly decanted you’ll lose all those delicate Char-grilled Lamb Cutlets with Garlic Roasted note that Hillside Select corks are longer than normal,
the bottle was youthful and lively, everything you layers of flavor and aroma, which years of cellaring Kipfler Potatoes and Braised Golden Shallots requiring extra care when removing them from the
hope for from a wine of this age. The wine out of are intended to produce. J.W. Marriott Hotel, Hong Kong bottle to avoid breakage.
Featured Shafer Collector
The Producer When I got back to California, (my wife)
Maia and I drove up to Napa and Sonoma, started
start buying – getting into that whole thing of ‘how
do I get my hands on that?’ Like Harlan or Shafer.
Wine Blogs We’ve Bookmarked
Remember when there were no wine blogs? That was way
visiting wineries and trying wines and I really Got very picky about which wine I was going to back at the start of ye olde 2004, according to Vinography.
h oW h o lly Woo d T urn ed a fil m
ex ecu T ive i nTo a Win e c o l l e cTo r
jumped in full force. We just drove up Silverado have with dinner. One night it might have to be com. Today there are more than 550 in English alone and
Trail and stopped everywhere and tried everything. Rubicon. Nothing else would do. It all had to be another 170 or so in languages including Italian, Japa-
just a certain way. nese, Portuguese and Slovak. There’s even an annual wine
Richard Suckle is a Did you ever take a wine course or join a
bloggers conference as well as annual awards recognizing
Philadelphia native who tasting group? How has collecting changed for you over time? top writers and blogs.
got his start in Hollywood No, because I got some great education from a I don’t hoard it, pretending to buy wine as an
in the mid-1990s as a friend, Robert Kamen, who’s a screenwriter (wrote investment. I buy it because I want to drink it. Steve Heimoff’s Blog @ steveheimoff.com
production executive on Karate Kid, A Walk in the Clouds, Taken, and others). He Well-informed, unpretentious, refreshingly snarky at
Also, I really do have a great time now collecting
bought a vineyard in Sonoma in the ‘80s and now times, this veteran wine journalist and critic produces a
movies including Twelve all kinds of wines – Bordeaux, Australian wines
blog worth your bookmark.
Monkeys starring Bruce he has a winery called Kamen Estate, really amazing like Penfolds, Chilean wines are interesting to me,
Willis and Fallen star- wines. It was Robert who really helped me to see South African. I’ll go online and read up about the The Cork Board @ uncork29.com/blog/
ring Denzel Washington. the subtler differences between wines and helped wines of a region and start tracking them down. The Cork Board comes complete with timely photos, video
He later produced two hugely successful family films: Scooby me get into it hard core. Lately it’s been New Zealand. I have to say, though, and tangy entries that remind us of why we love living
Doo and Scooby Doo 2. His most recent film was The here.
It sounds like collecting started for you the backbone of what I collect will probably always
International, a thriller that starred Clive Owen. This with Cabernets? be California Cabernets. That was my first love; it’s Wine Library TV @ http://tv.winelibrary.com/
member of Shafer’s Hillside Select list spoke with us recently Yes, it was all California Cabs, Napa and Sonoma. tied in with where I was engaged, where I was mar- You already know about Gary Vaynerchuk and the
about his other love – that of wine and wine collecting. ried: so many great, deeply-felt personal memories. Vayniacs, right? If not, it’s time. Be careful, though, it’s
I went from trying everything to that stage of being
addictive and so far there’s no patch.
Were you around wine growing up in Philadelphia? very specific, very picky, about what I wanted to
How do you store your wines?
I had almost no exposure to wine. My parents had Wine Industry Insight @ http://wineindustryin-
I’ve got a cellar at home where I have 200 to 250
a cabinet with Cutty Sark and a few other dusty sight.com/
bottles and off-site storage for another 500.
bottles, but it was just for company. We’re hoping writer Lewis Perdue has a staff, otherwise
How do you decide which bottles you want easy we don’t know when he eats or sleeps. This site provides a
When did you discover wine? keen “inside baseball” view of the wine industry.
access to at home?
In 2001 I was in Australia filming the first Scooby
I just try to keep a good mix at home, a little of ev- Wine Review Online @ http://www.winereviewon-
Doo movie and (actor) Matthew Lillard was into
erything. But my off-site storage is only a mile from line.com/home.cfm
wine big time – you know, the zealotry of the newly This site provides a great platform for the knowing,
my house so it’s not a huge thing to get there. I try
converted. He’d just gotten married at Kenwood dynamic voices of Robert Whitley, Linda Murphy, Patrick
to visit about once a month and I’m always nicely
in Sonoma and really talked up wine and wine Comiskey, Michael Apstein and others.
surprised by things I find tucked in the back that I’d
country. It was good timing because here I was on
forgotten about. The Foodinista @ http://thefoodinista.wordpress.
the verge of getting engaged. And I’m listening to
Matt thinking, ‘if I’m going to ask my family and Has wine ever shown up in any of your films?
Wedged in with tasty food, fashion, and lip-smacking
my friends to travel all this way to a wedding, why Not yet, but I’d like to bring it in sometime, if it
cocktail trends, you’ll find some delicious wine coverage
not ask them to go somewhere really great?’ was an organic part of the story. I’d love that. too – all presented in canape-sized morsels.
Continued from page 3 ously proportioned wine offers a long, lingering finish.
Its masculine tannins are similar to the 1992 vintage
of Hillside Select and continue to offer excellent aging
This Hillside Select is classic Stags Leap District Cab-
potential. Drink now – 11 years
ernet Sauvignon from a justly celebrated Napa Valley
vintage. Pure, wide-open, dark-fruit aromas and flavors. 1998
The movement from nose to mouth to supple tannin to We wish we had more of this one in our cellar. It’s gor-
lengthy finish is harmonious, offering a round, expan- geous. Deep color with soft tannins and luscious fruit
sive, silky liquid feast of black cherry, rich plum, black typical of our hillside vineyards. Aromatics offer a blend of
fruit, cassis, and dark chocolate shot through with toasty currants, vanilla and mineral in the mouth and a long fin-
vanilla, blueberry, and cedar. Strikes a balance between ish. This was our first vintage to perform berry selection
in the vineyard ensuring that the fruit we harvested was
extract and elegance. Drink now – 18 years
the best of the vintage. That work shows here.
2001 Drink now – 6 years
From the legendary 2001 vintage this Hillside Select of-
fers aromatic, elegant blackberry and vanilla, loaded with
Just when we thought this one would never grow up, we
black currant and cassis; round, rich, layered dark fruit
find it moving past primary fruit with elegant character-
flavors, with a balanced seasoning of minerals, tobacco, istics of cedar, tea and tobacco. Even so, expect the ’97 to
and herbs; a core of sweetness emerges from our small- remain lively for a few years to come as it still offers big
berried hillside fruit with a long, mouth-filling finish of mouthfeel, dark color, with flavors of chocolate and black
dark chocolate, vanilla and spice all surrounded by the fruit. A long finish of mocha, vanilla and spice is tied up
classic silky tannins of the Stags Leap District. with the classic tannins of the Stags Leap District.
Drink now – 14 years Drink now – 8 years
Shows a pleasing range of aromatics — black fruit, With more herbs, cedar and tea than its ’97 sibling, this
pepper, mineral, sweet-spicy vanilla and dense color. one is embracing age. Ripe aromatics and big, balanced
Beginning to show age characteristics of cedar and fruit flavors. Deep color in the center of the glass with
tobacco. A core of sweetness and supple, sweet tannins brick at the edge, silky texture and maturing fruit, show-
from our small-berried hillside fruit spread a chocolate- ing elements of black currant and dark spice with a long
like rounded feel in the mouth and offer a lengthy finish. finish. Drink now – 5 years
Drink now – 6 years
1999 At 14 years of age this Hillside Select still shows such
After ten years this one continues to fill the glass with richness — lively, lovely, dark and complex. Powerful,
aromatic brightness and in the mouth offers raspberry, elegant and composed, with velvety brick color and
blackberry, cola and a richness of fruit; its liveliness is just maturing Cabernet flavors. Rich with great depth of flavor
beginning to show a more mature balance of tobacco, and a lingering finish.
herbs and minerals and a core of sweetness. This gener- Drink now – 4 years