Shafer Vineyards TD-9 2018
The Shafer Vineyards TD-9 is a proprietary red wine blend that celebrates a bold move. In 1973, in the space of a few months, John Shafer went from riding morning commuter trains in Chicago to teaching himself to drive a TD-9 tractor in a Napa Valley vineyard. He’d never grown grapes or made wine in his life. That spirit of risk-taking and adventure still guides Shafer today and inspired the creation of this new wine. TD-9 represents an evolution of Shafer Vineyards Merlot, which has been a cornerstone of their range for 30 years. The birth of TD-9 was an early morning conversation during the 2015 harvest when Doug Shafer and long-standing winemaker, Elias Fernandez, were discussing the Merlot and other fruit from a cluster of small Shafer vineyards just south of Stags Leap District. “You do realise that we could make a much better wine if we could make a red blend” suggested Elias – referring to the mix of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec fruit on the property. They slept on the idea and soon decided that if they could make a more profound wine, the way forward was clear. As anticipated, TD-9 was indeed finer and more complex than previously, whilst retaining the joyous, plush, generous fruit which characterised their varietal Merlot. 56% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec from Stags Leap District, Yountville and a vineyard in the Vaca Mountains, just south of Stags Leap District. Aged for 20 months in a combination of Allier and Troncais barrels (100% new).