Fans of Shafer Vineyards Cabernet should be excited about a new wine that takes this venerable winery back to its Cabernet roots.
Early next year, Shafer will release a new Cabernet called One Point Five, which carries the Stags Leap District appellation. It replaces the so-called Napa Valley Cabernet, and this distinction is both subtle and significant.
It's the first time since 1995 that the winery, based in the Stags Leap appellation, has been able to grow enough grapes in Stags Leap to use this designation.
From 1996 through 2003 the Shafer Cabernet carried the Napa Valley appellation, because the winery lost one of its key growers and it had to buy grapes outside Stags Leap, according to winery president Doug Shafer.
In 1999, the winery bought a new 25-acre parcel, called Borderline, in Stags Leap and planted it in 2001.
The 2004 One Point Five is terrific. It's intense, with rich, vivid Cabernet flavors and the telltale supple texture associated with Stags Leap reds. It will retail for $65, and the winery produced 6,000 cases, which is an important number to Cabernet drinkers. That means there should be enough wine to satisfy those who can't find or afford the winery's flagship wine, the Shafer Hillside Select, which sold for $190 for the 2002. The Hillside Select typically has 2,000 cases.
One Point Five is a reference to the overlap in generations between the founder, John Shafer, who started making Cabernet in 1978, and his son Doug, who has worked at the winery since the 1980s.
It's also intended to emphasize the fact that Shafer is still a family-owned operation, Doug Shafer said. "It's funny because we often get asked if there are any Shafers working at the winery," he said.
Mr Randy Beranek — Napa, CA — December 13, 2006 4:17pm ET
Jim Faley — So.Cal. — December 13, 2006 4:26pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — December 13, 2006 4:40pm ET
Christian Janssen — Lawrenceburg, TN — December 13, 2006 10:52pm ET
Don Downing — Denver, CO — December 14, 2006 12:50pm ET
Paul Manchester — Santa Cruz, CA — December 14, 2006 12:54pm ET
John Koniar — Foley, AL — March 4, 2007 11:07am ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions