Wednesday, October 31, 2007


There are wines out there that are so sought after, you sometimes doubt if they really exist at all. Lord knows we think some highly touted wineries are the fictional creations of frustrated novelists posing as wine writers.

      Some of these wines do actually exist, but arrive in such small amounts that even we don’t publicize them much. Take, for example the 2003 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon. If Napa Valley has first growths, this wine is surely one of them. We get a healthy allotment of this wine because we’ve been around a while, but even a healthy allotment is 12 to 18 bottles. Some customers try to get us to hold them for them, but we don’t, although we let those who ask know when it arrives. We don’t post it on our web site, we don’t put it in our catalog (by the time the catalog is in a customer’s hands, the wine will be long gone). It’s a $300 bottle of wine, but we know it’s going to vanish.

      Shafer Hillside Select is one of the wines you have to keep an eye out for, you have to have an idea when it will be released (for future reference, it’s an October release), and then you have to get on the phone and give us a call. Because if you miss it, it’s gone for a year.

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