The 2014 Shafer Merlot continues its streak as one of Napa Valley's top red wines. The wine offers an elegant juxtaposition of ripe fruit and sweet earth in the flavors. Smooth and textured in the finish, this is a natural with lighter meat dishes. Drinks nicely now. (Tasted: November 2, 2016, Napa, CA)
The Wine Advocate
Shafer also makes one of the better Merlots. The 2014 Merlot includes 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and is a beauty. Mocha and chocolaty notes intermixed with red cherry, plum and blacker fruits jump from the glass of this perfumed and fragrant style of Merlot. It is medium to full-bodied, exceptionally pure and rich and should drink beautifully over the next 10-12 years of life.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni
Dark red cherry, plum, spice, menthol, licorice and gravel are beautifully delineated in Shafer's 2014 Merlot. This is a somewhat brisk, linear style, but it works nicely. Savory overtones add aromatic intensity and lift throughout. There is plenty to like, but readers should expect a slightly more reserved Merlot than is the norm here.
This was a beautiful vintage for Merlot. From the first pour the wine opens an of abundance enticing aromas and mouth-coating flavors of fresh summer berries, dark plums, and strawberries, fresh herbs and flowers all presented with juicy energy, surrounded by seamlessly textured tannins that will age attractively with cellaring.
Flatter Merlot’s fruit by adding a similar element of fruit to poultry, pork and meat dishes (duck breast with dried cherry-Merlot sauce, roast chicken with cranberry-wild rice stuffing). Carmelized onions, roasted garlic and mushrooms are pleasant companions.