|Segura Viudas Gran Cuvée Reserva|
|Under the Wire 2012 Brosseau Vineyard|
Shafer Vineyards 2012 One Point Five (15.5% abv, Sample $80) certainly fit the bill. This Cabernet Sauvignon (actually 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot) comes predominantly from the Stags Leap District in the Napa Valley. Shafer is one of the most revered Napa wineries and their Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most sought-after 'icon' wines in all of California. Though Shafer produces Chardonnay, Syrah and Merlot, it's their Cabernet Sauvignon for which they're best known. Named for the generation-and-a-half team of Doug (Rest in Peace) and John Shafer who gave rise to Shafer Vineyards success, the One Point Five is the second Cabernet Sauvignon in Shafer's wheelhouse. Compared to the $250 Hillside Select, the One Point Five is a downright steal at only $80. For those that want their red wines as dark as possible, the One Point Five abides; it is an opaque, glass-coating deep purple. You just can't help but smile as you stick your nose into the glass to take a sniff. The aromas of cassis, blueberries, blackberries, shaved graphite, rosemary, and white and purple flowers seamlessly continue into your mouth. This is without a doubt a big, bold wine, but it is still so smooth and elegant. There are tannins, but they don't attack your tongue as much as add structure to the abundant fruit. Though the One Point Five does not have the big tannin structure of the Hillside Select, I actually prefer the One Point Five to its more expensive sibling because I usually find it fresher, brighter and more enjoyable. Don't let the high alcohol scare you away; there isn't a hint of it anywhere on the nose or palate. It is not bogged down with weight of oak and massive ripeness that I sometimes find with the Hillside Select. If you have the 2012 One Point Five, there is no reason to not enjoy it now, but if you decide to hide it somewhere it will still be singing beautifully for years to come. And for those of you interested, you can read my interview with Doug Shafer from back in 2013 in Decanter.