Tasting notes from a Shafer Cab and Cesari Amarone

Got together with a couple of friends of mine this past weekend and cracked a few bottles. My friend cooked dinner and my other friend and I brought the wine.

2005 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five

This was drinking absolutely perfect right now! I first had the One Point Five on my first trip out to Napa Valley back in 2007. At the time it was the 2004 vintage, the debut year of this wine. Previously Shafer made a Cabernet under the Napa Valley tag. In 2004, they started getting all of their fruit from the Stag’s Leap District and gave the wine the One Point Five name. Gave it a 30 minute decant then drank it over the next 1.5 hours. This kept getting better and better with each sip and the tannins had softened. This Cab had a lot of structure and the fruit really shined. Wish I had some more of these. Shafer really does make some wonderful Cabernets and the One Point Five is a very nice wine that costs 1/3 of the flagship Hillside Select. One of the top wines from Napa Valley in the $65-$70 price range. I gave this 94 points.

2009 vintage available

2008 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

The second wine we had with dinner, which was pork chops and broccoli rabe with sausage. For those unfamiliar with Amarone this wine is from the Veneto region of Italy and made primarily from the Corvina grape.  The grapes are harvested and laid on straw mats, concentrating the sugars to produce a wine with fuller flavors and higher alcohol. This wine was rather restrained from the typical big bold Amarone’s that I am use to. Decanted for 1 hour. A tad delicate, this had some restrained cherry fruit flavors. It had a decent finish but I’m unsure of the aging potential of this particular vintage. The wine did go well with the meal though. I gave this wine 88

Matthew Slywka