Wine Spectator 92 points - Supple, elegant and beautifully focused, with aromas of red currant and toasty vanilla that lead to ripe but sleek and layered flavors of black cherry, cinnamon and black tea. Tannins sneak in on the finish. Drink now through 2017.—T.F. (May 23 2012)
Pull the cork on any bottle of Shafer Merlot and you will find a forward, stylish Merlot that takes center stage with all its appealing varietal fruit, not a Merlot that plays understudy to a Cabernet Sauvignon. Only small percentages of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are blended in to complement, but not overshadow, the Merlot itself. Taking advantage of the site-specific nature of this varietal, Shafer`s Merlot draws its grapes from selected vineyards throughout the Napa Valley, gaining complexity from the vineyard diversity. It is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.