Birthyear Vintage Wine for Family Birthday Dinner
We joined son Ryan and his family in celebrating his birthday with a gala dinner featuring grilled tenderloin steaks, twice baked potatoes and haricots verts, and ceasar salad. Ryan opened from his cellar a Robert Foley Napa Valley Claret and I took from our cellar a classic historic label Napa Cab.
Shafer Hillside Select is a classic Napa Valley premium label dating back to 1983. The prior year, 1982, was Ryan's birthyear, and for that vintage, Shafer produced this hillside vineyards Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which thereafter would be known as Shafer Hillside Select.
Hillside Select is sourced from a collection of rugged, arid vineyard blocks
that surround the winery in the Stags Leap District in Southeast Napa Valley.
Founder John Shafer was a native of Chicago, hailed from northern suburb Glencoe, and lived for a time in nearby Hinsdale, Illinois. He moved to Napa Valley in 1972 when the Shafer family purchased a 209-acre property
including 30 acres of Scansi’s vineyards. In 1973-74 Shafer planted Cabernet Sauvignon, creating small hillside vineyard blocks such as Sunspot and John’s Upper Seven.
In 1978, John produced his first Shafer Vineyards wine, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from fruit sourced from John’s Upper Seven vineyard, a precursor to Hillside Select.
Doug Shafer joined his father John as winemaker in 1983. When he tasted the 1982 lot from the Sunspot vineyard block he was so impressed he talked John into keeping it separate from the others. With the Sunspot lot, Doug created this label, Shafer’s one and only Reserve Cabernet. Starting with the 1983 vintage, in 1984, the Reserve was rebranded as the first release of Hillside Select.That inaugural release of Hillside Select, and those since, are sourced from the collection of 14 small vineyard blocks planted within an eons-old amphitheater-like structure of rock and volcanic soil that surrounds the winery. With scant soil nutrients and moisture, yields at harvest are meager and the berries are small, producing lush Cabernet Sauvignon fruit with dark color and intense, classic flavor.
Shafer Reserve hillside vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1982
Robert (Bob) Foley began his wine making career in the
Napa Valley in 1977, having just graduated from UC Davis with degrees
in both Viticulture and Enology. He spent his first year working for
Heitz Cellars, followed by 15 years as the founding winemaker for
In 1992, Foley began another 15 years as the founding winemaker for Pride Mountain Vineyards. During this period, he also crafted wines for Switchback Ridge, Hourglass, Paloma, and School House wines.
Primarily focused on Robert Foley Vineyards wines, he also works with Shelter, Padis Vineyards, Engel Family, Herson Family Vineyards, and Jenna Marise in the Napa Valley.
Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, nicely balanced with well integrated bright vibrant ripe black cherry and black berry fruits with sprites of cherry cola, notes of vanilla, sweet oak, creme de cassis and spice with slight astringent bright acidity, moderate tangy tannins on the lingering finish.
RM 92 points.