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.
Wine Spectator#36 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2002."Smooth-textured, with polished currant, mocha, cranberry and cherry, plus touches of tobacco, coffee and spice. A bit tough-edged with tannin, but certainly not out of line for a young wine. Best from 2003 through 2009. 10,000 cases made. (JL)"