84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, & 8% Malbec
From a superb vintage, this wine introduces itself with enticing perfumy aromas of cherries and briar fruit that fill not just the glass but the space around the glass. This Merlot shines with juicy, chewy flavors of cherry pie, blackberry, strawberry, minerality and soil an elegant, mouth-filling wine whose lengthy finish will leave you wanting more.
92 points from Vinous / Antonio Galloni
A big, dark wine, the 2013 Merlot is just beginning to develop the first signs of aromatic complexity. Plum, black cherry, menthol, chocolate and leather infuse the super-expressive finish. Once again, the pure pedigree of the 2013 vintage comes through loud and clear. This is a drop-dead gorgeous wine from Shafer.
91 points from James Suckling
Blackberry and violet aromas and flavors. Blue fruit. Spice. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a savory finish. White pepper. Merlot with hints of malbec and cabernet franc. Drink now.
91 points from Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The 2013 Shafer Merlot is a delicious treat. Going far beyond the tried and true, winemaker Elias Fernandez produced wine with plenty of character some known premium producers just want to make a soft version of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shafer produces their Merlot with plenty of flavors. The wine's ripe fruit and savory earth make it excellent choice with pan-fried pork chops with sautéed onions. Drinks well now. (Tasted: February 19, 2016, Napa, CA)
90 points from Wine Enthusiast
This is a robust, dense and tannic wine, with 8% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. It needs time to unravel what are now just mere suggestions of coffee and black-cherry jam, with seasonings of cedar, peppercorn and dried sage. Full bodied, ripe and highly structured, this should be enjoyed in years to come, through 2023.