Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Bottle Size: 750 ml

Rating: RP 100, WE 97, WS 97, ST 96, DC 94, VN 94

Year: 2002

4 in stock


Pure fruit-bomb material, but stunningly proportioned, beautifully pure, with notes of melted chocolate, blackcurrant jam, sweet black cherries, licorice, camphor and charcoal. Very full-bodied, like the 2001, but much more lavishly fruited, it is more accessible and hedonistically, as well as intellectually, satisfying. If the 2001 is the long-distance runner, this comes across more like a middle-distancer. It had performed fabulously well since it was released by the winery, and even though it’s still an adolescent in terms of its evolution, this wine is a head-turner in wine tastings, and a spectacular effort from Napa. 

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate.

The impression is of a young, tannicly closed but enormously promising Cabernet. Floods the mouth with dramatic black currant, cherry and chocolate flavors, masses of toasty, caramelized new oak, and a rich, minerally earthiness. For all the power, there’s elegance and refinement. Cellar Selection.

Wine Enthusiast.

Very young, rich and extracted, this boasts a dense, powerful presence and tannic core flavors of blackberry, black licorice, cedar, mocha, roasted coffee, loamy earth, vanilla and dried herb. A tour de force of flavor, ending with ripe, muscular tannins. 

James Laube, Wine Spectator.

Brooding aromas of cassis, black raspberry, smoke, chocolate, graphite and minerals. Thoroughly ripe, rich and tactile, but with captivating lift to its flavors of blackberry, black raspberry, cassis and flowers. Highly impressive mounting finish saturates the palate with flavor. Already shows great sweetness, but the wine's tight core of fruit suggests it will develop slowly and gracefully in bottle. Boasts a combination of lushness and energy that's rare for California Cabernet. 

Stephen Tanzer, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.

Perfumed, liqueur-like aromas of black plum, dark berries, licorice and cocoa powder. Dense, thick and very ripe but still a bit youthfully brooding; shows the darkest fruit character to this point in the tasting. This extremely dense, thick, youthfully brooding Cabernet finishes with serious ripe tannins and good medicinal reserve. 


A brazen, decadent wine, oozing with super-ripe blue and black fruits, smoke and hints of chocolate and liquorice. Sumptuous and supple, it has fine-grained tannins and massive volume on the palate. This is a particularly ripe, precocious and almost confected vintage of Hillside - not a wine for classicists, but it's a great success in its paradigm. 

W.K., Decanter.

Collections: Cabernet Sauvignon

Category: 2002, 750 ml

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