February 5, 2010

Shafer Wines - in Maine at last!

Shafer Wines
Finally in Maine!

Doug and Cat from SOPO brought just brought Shafer into the state. We tasted the Chardonnay and the Syrah with Doug on Thursday. Delicious wines!

Shafer is family-owned and family-run. For over 20 years they've been committed to making great wines and to sustainable agriculture. The name for their Chardonnay honors raptors that help control the moles and gophers in the vineyard. They've erected hawk perches and owl nesting boxes to attract magnificent birds of prey.

These wines are in available in extremely small quantities. Please call or e-mail if you want any.

Please forward this to anyone you know who collects comparable wines! You might get to drink some with the friend(s)!

The White:

Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay 2007 (California) $47.99 - Delicious Chardonnay! This is full-bodied, clean, crisp and just gets more complex each minute it is open! Aromas and flavors of green apples, minerals, limes, baking spices and hazelnuts. Long, long pleasing finish! Barrel-fermented. Aged 14 months in 75% new oak barrels (85% French - Allier and Vosage; 15% American - Missouri). 25% aged in stainless steel. This wine sees no malolactic fermentation, so this is NOT buttery and creamy. It has bright, vibrant acidity. This drinks GREAT today and will age well for another 2-4 years easily. Wine Spectator, 93 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90-92 points, "An argument could be made that Shafer is turning out the finest non-malolactic Chardonnay in California."

The Reds:

Shafer Relentless Syrah 2006 (California) $69.99 - Excellent, beautiful, big, smooth Syrah! This is big and chewy! Aromas and flavors of minerals, graphite, plums, smoked meat, black pepper and dark berries. Long, long finish and a lot of depth and structure! 84% Syrah and 16% Petite Sirah. Aged 30 months in 100% new French oak. This will age well through 2016. Food pairing - dishes such as Syrah-braised short ribs, smoked lamb with Relentless reduction, roast duck, as well as beef and game. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92-94 points; Wine Spectator, 90 points

Shafer "1.5" Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (California) $69.99 - One Point Five takes its name from the term "a generation-and-a-half," coined by John and Doug Shafer to describe their long father-and-son partnership. For 27 years this family team has worked side by side to manage a winery that they've made world-class. The wine: 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot. Stags Leap District vineyards. Aged 20 months in 75% new oak barrels (70% French and 30% American). 25% of the barrels are barrels that have been used once. Aromas of dried herbs, chocolate, black fruit and cedar. Flavors of dark chocolate, blackberries, black cherries and red currants. Tannins are soft and smooth.

Shafer Stags Leap District Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (California) $214.99 - One of California's legendary Cabernets! This is velvety and voluptuous! Full-bodied with a long, long, complex finish. This has so many flavors and aromas - anise, cedar, minerals, plums, black cherries, currants, the woods on a cool fall day after a rain, graphite, pencil shavings and more! This is drinking well today and will continue to evolve for another 20-25 years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 32 months in 100% new French oak (Allier & Tronçais). 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Food pairing - Grilled or roasted lamb, duck, beef and game; dishes featuring roasted red peppers or carmelized onions; seasonings of basil, mint or rosemary. Aged, full-flavor cheeses are also complementary. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 97 points; Wine Spectator, 92 points

Shafer Merlot 2007 (California) $47.99 - At times Merlot has gotten a bad rap (well, much of it should....over-planted, yields per acre too high to make good wine, etc.). The Shafer Merlot is incredibly GREAT! Parker writes, "The 2007 Merlot may be the finest Merlot I have ever tasted from Shafer." This is both elegant and powerful! Deep, dark color. Aromas and flavors of baking spices, oak, smoke, mocha, red and dark berries. Soft, well-integrated tannins. This will age well for at least 12 more years. Aged 20 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (75% new: Vosage, Allier and Tronçais). Blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

If you want any wines, please let me know via phone or e-mail!