The journey continues. It was time for another encounter with a Wine of the Decade and the "chosen one" was the 1994 Shafer Hillside Select. The venue for the tasting was the Wineontheway.com Board Meeting.
As the name implies, Hillside Select is crafted exclusively from selected blocks of hillside vineyards whose soil characteristics and micro-climate combine to produce Cabernet Sauvignon wines with excellent aging potential. The soil on the Shafer Stags Leap properties are primarily bale loam or volcanic -- 2- to 4-feet deep -- resting on bedrock. The warm days and cool nights result in elongated growing seasons and a near-perfect mix of ripening and acidity. The wines are aged for four and one-half years prior to public release.
The 1994 Shafer Hillside Select was awarded 99 points by Robert Parker who labeled it a "prodigious" Cabernet. Further, "the 1994 combines the vintage's spectacularly ripe, luscious fruit with a rarely seen degree of elegance and finesse. The wine is extremely rich, as well as gorgeously poised and graceful."
The Board Meeting was slated to begin at 6:30 pm. I was leaving for work at 7:30 am, with no prospect of returning home to retrieve the bottle prior to the event. I was going to have to take it to work with me. I lovingly removed the bottle from its nestling place in the cellar and, without changing its orientation, placed it horizontally into a brown leather carrying case. The case was maintained in this (uncomfortable) position while being carried, or at rest, for the remainder of the day.
I arrived at the Downtown location of Funky Monkey Wine Company (Board Meeting location) at about 6:15 pm and met up with John Alport and Frank Husic (Husic Vineyards) who had arrived previously. I gently placed the carrying case on the bar counter, removed the wine from the case, and gave it to the bartender so that it could be slightly chilled.