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Shafer Napa Valley Merlot 2013

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While this wine is officially designated with the Napa Valley appellation, its fruit is sourced from within just a three-mile radius in the Valley's cooler southern end. Half of our fruit for our Merlot comes from a hilly Shafer-owned vineyard we've informally dubbed, "School Bus," located about a quarter mile due south of Stags Leap District. The remainder is cultivated within Stags Leap District by growers we've worked with closely for years. Merlot is a finicky grape - a bit too much rain, a touch of frost early in the season - will easily result in less than ideal fruit. Early on each season our vineyard team culls any weaker fruit leaving only the best-of-the-best on the vine, ensuring that the wine exhibits lush, ripe, mouthfilling flavors that are true to varietal character.
Category Red Wine
Varietals
Country California
Region Napa Valley
Brand Shafer
Alcohol/vol 15%
  • agv92

Vinous Shafer's 2013 Merlot is wonderfully fresh, brisk and nuanced. Sweet red cherry, plum, mint and expressive spice notes are all pushed forward. This open-knit, fleshy Merlot should drink well for the next handful of years.

Antonio Galloni
  • we90

Wine EnthusiastThis is a robust, dense and tannic wine, with 8% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. It needs time to unravel what are now just mere suggestions of coffee and black-cherry jam, with seasonings of cedar, peppercorn and dried sage. Full bodied, ripe and highly structured, this should be enjoyed in years to come, through 2023.

Virginie Boone, June 1, 2016
  • wa87

Wine AdvocateA soft, juicy 2013 Merlot (90% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Malbec) has no hard edges, a dark ruby/purple color and attractive cherry and berry fruit. Drink it over the next 5-7 years.

Robert Parker, December 30, 2015
  • ws87

Wine SpectatorTaut and tightly wound, with notes of currant, crushed stone and cedar. Tannins grip the finish. Best from 2018 through 2025. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 8,000 cases made.

Tim Fish, 2016