The Highly Acclaimed Shafer Merlot & Star Lane Astral Cabernet
According to Shafer vineyards… “While this wine is officially designated with the Napa Valley appellation, its fruit is sourced from within just a three mile radius in the Valley’s cooler southern end. Much of the fruit for our Merlot comes from a hilly Shafer-owned vineyard we’ve informally dubbed “School Bus,” located about a quarter mile due south of Stags Leap District. The remainder is cultivated within Stags Leap District by growers we’ve worked with closely for years.
Since first planting this variety in 1981 we’ve learned thatMerlot is a finicky grape — a bit too much rain or a touch of frost early in the season can easily result in less than ideal fruit. Years of experience have taught us to tend these vines with care. Early on each season our vineyard team culls any less developed fruit, leaving only the best-of-the-best on the vine. This ensures that the wine exhibits lush, ripe, mouth-filling flavors that are true to varietal character.”
Star Lane Astral Cabernet
Star Lane Vineyard is located at the far eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley, in the new “Happy Canyon” of Santa Barbara appellation. These vineyards back up to the lower slopes of the San Rafael Mountains which loom high above the ranch. Star Lane features a unique range of weathered sand, gravel and alluvial cobbles over a clay/loam subsoil. In 2005 Star Lane arrived at the concept of Astral after recognizing the exceptional quality of the hillside plantings near the top of the Star Lane Vineyard.