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I'm trying to reduce the number of mailers I'm buying from, so here was a head-to-head between merlot producers that I've enjoyed.

Popped and poured... drank them over 4! days. The color and even noses didn't differentiate very much out of the gate. Both wines seemed a little bit extracted and somewhat in-your-face, to the point I had one of those "why am I buying California wine" moments... but fret not, I came around. Flavor-wise, the Pride seemed really well made but the Shafer had some smoky/purple fruit flavor that made it maybe more interesting. Going back and forth... they were really more similar than I expected, but the Shafer flavors on the finish had me leaning that way early on. I corked the bottles and left them on my counter, coming back to them each evening. Then on day three Pride suddenly seemed so integrated... the overextraction I was feeling turned more to full flavor and the in-your-face softened. It became really good. I started to lean towards the Pride. But the Shafer finished very strong, too. Basically a tie, which is annoying. I put them at 89 pts and 90 pts Pride and Shafer... but maybe I'm being a little harsh. They were REALLY good on days three and four. I might be subtracting points for days 1 and 2.

The Shafer is about $8 cheaper... But the only other thing I was thinking about was that Pride has two levels of Merlot above this (Vintner's Select and Reserve). Shafer is using their best fruit.

Anyone else know these wines and have a particular preference?
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I've noticed a lot of '06 One Point Five cabs getting sold by retailers for <$45... compared with the mailer price of $70. I would be annoyed if I bought some at the $70 price. (Fortunately, I happened to skip the mailer and did buy at the lower price.)

I wonder if the Shafer Merlot is going to show up on the cheap soon, too.

I hope this means they'll lower their mailer prices. I think the $55 price was much more palatable than $70. That's why I had skipped it. Of course, $45 is even more so.
quote:
Originally posted by Lentini:
I've noticed a lot of '06 One Point Five cabs getting sold by retailers for <$45... compared with the mailer price of $70. I would be annoyed if I bought some at the $70 price. (Fortunately, I happened to skip the mailer and did buy at the lower price.)

I wonder if the Shafer Merlot is going to show up on the cheap soon, too.

I hope this means they'll lower their mailer prices. I think the $55 price was much more palatable than $70. That's why I had skipped it. Of course, $45 is even more so.



I also passed on the Shafer One Point Five Cabernet because of the $70 retail price! I do enjoy their wines more than Pride, and I think Shafer does have a more concentrated view of their wines than Pride. However, they are missing the market conditions and their mailing list customers are not getting the breaks. Shafer might gain some customer love by following Caymus' approach to the 2007 vintage!
quote:
Originally posted by kumazam:
ive been a big fan of Shafer's Merlot for quite a while


Popped a 2000 Shafer Cabernet last night. Holding up very well with much of its fruit intact and the oak well integrated by now. Poured half, up to top w/no air space, into a sterilized 375ml with screw cap and am tonight comparing with a '99 Groth/Oakville cab(the last of the '99 from this maker - I'm making room in my cellar for some new kids on the block).

Groth holding well but the nod goes to the '00 Shafer. The last Shafer merlot I drank was a '99 about 4 months ago and it too was quite fine. Maybe that's why I have almost 3 cases of various vintages and bottlings: tastes soo good and lasts soo long...
I opened a 2007 Shafer Merlot - from 375ml - the other night after dinner. The wine displayed lots of oak influence initially; strong toasted coconut and vanilla coming from the glass - it immediately made me think of the '05 Clio I had earlier this year. I found the wine to be medium-bodied in both tannin concentration and acidity. The fruit is very nice. I followed it over 1.5 hours; fortunately, the vanilla notes toned-down signifcantly.

I enjoyed the wine, but I honestly don't know if I will buy more.

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