2015 TD-9™

TD-9 is a proprietary 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 our 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.

“Vibrant, complex aromas of ripe red and black fruit, lavender, and herbs fill the glass followed by pure, energetic flavors of dried cherry, blackberry, strawberry, licorice, and cocoa all pulled together with wet slate minerality, clean acidity, and the ripe, seamless tannins that are the hallmarks of this vintage” 
— Shafer winemaker Elias Fernandez


“Powerful and finely textured, with concentrated dried cherry, dark currant and roasted plum flavors that are filled with lively minerality. Richly spiced, showing dried herbal notes on the chiseled finish.”
— Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator

“Rich and concentrated, it’s delightfully robust and vibrant, offering a mix of blackberry, blueberry and caramel chocolate flavors that finish in soft, integrated oak. Editors’ Choice.”
— Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast

“… reveals notes of warm plums, Christmas cake and mocha with hints of sandalwood and vanilla pod. Full-bodied and laden with spiced plum preserves flavors, it has just enough freshness and great length.”
— Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

“… a perfumed, seamless, even elegant, 2015 that gives up lots of blue fruits, spice-box, dried flowers, and incense aromas and flavors. Charming, light on its feet, and with the forward, sexy fruit of this great vintage.”
— Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

“… richly layered with complex aromas of red and black fruits, an inviting floral note, heaps of wood spice, and soft, supple tannins that indicate you could drink it now even if you shouldn’t. This beautiful addition to the Shafer lineup will be better with another five to seven years in the cellar.”
— Robert Whitley, WineReviewOnline.com

“… attractive, forward, intense, spicy, strawberry and black fruit aroma with hints of olive and dried herbs; full body; forward, rich, ripe, nicely balanced, red and black fruit flavors with a hint of vanilla and plummy richness in the velvety mouthfeel … very highly recommended.”
California Grapevine

“A pretty wine with blueberry and blackberry. Hints of flowers and stone. Medium to full body, round and juicy.”
— James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

“… concentrated and powerful while remaining approachable and balanced.”
— Hayley Hamilton Cogill, D Magazine

Vintage and Production Notes

Release Date: September 1, 2017

Vineyard Locations: Stags Leap District, Yountville, and a vineyard in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains just south of Stags Leap District. 


The 2015 Growing Season: This was another in a string of warm, sunny vintages from spring through early autumn. The consistency of daytime heat and evening coolness created a model growing season in which we harvested fruit with abundant color and concentration, along with enticing, rich aromatics.

Varietal Composition: 56% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec

Brix at Harvest: 23.5° – 25.5°

Cooperage: 20 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (100% new: Allier and Tronçais)

Alcohol: 15.3%

Suggested CA Retail: $60

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Video: Doug Shafer introduces TD-9 – our new proprietary red blend

TD-9 honors John Shafer’s risk-taking and sense of adventure when he launched Shafer Vineyards in the 1970s.

The Shafer TD-9 Story

TD-9 is an adventurous red blend that celebrates a bold move. In 1973 John Shafer went from taking morning commuter trains in Chicago to teaching himself to drive an old TD-9 tractor in our Napa Valley vineyard. He’d never grown grapes or made wine in his life. That spirit of risk-taking and adventure continues to inspire everything we do at Shafer Vineyards today. TD-9 is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec – we hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we love making it.

John Shafer Chicago, John Shafer Napa.

TD-9 – Shafer’s New Proprietary Red Blend
The Risk-taking and Sense of Adventure That Launched Shafer Still Guides What We Do Today

In January of 1973 at nearly 50 years of age, John Shafer walked away from corporate America and moved his family to a new home in Napa Valley. He’d never grown grapevines or made wine in his life. In fact his only agricultural experience had been raising flowers in the front yard of the family home in Chicago.

TD-9 Tractor drawing

With the purchase of the property John inherited a number of sheds and outbuildings, which held a trove of aging farm equipment. Among them he found an International Harvester tractor, an old TD-9 from the 1950s. One of his first challenges was teaching himself to drive and maintain his tractor.

It was all new to him and he would make some rookie mistakes. But that spring there he was in his Napa Valley vineyard and he thought back to how just months before he’d been going to work in a suit, tie, and hat with a newspaper under one arm riding a commuter train into downtown Chicago.

And here he was now teaching himself to drive a tractor, wrestling with mud, rocks, and vines. And he could not have been happier. In the space of just a few months he’d gone from a rider to a driver, from an office to the outdoors, from an employee to being his own boss, and it felt like he had a shot at something special.

TD-9 – Introducing Our New Wine
We are excited to launch a wine that has only one rule – to be as delicious as possible vintage after vintage.

“We own a collection of small vineyards in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains just south of Stags Leap District here in Napa Valley where we grow a number of varieties including Cabernet, Merlot, and Malbec,” says Doug Shafer. “Making TD-9 gives us the chance to take the best fruit of each year from these vineyards and create the most compelling wine of the

Using estate fruit as a basis, Shafer also purchases fruit from Napa Valley growers we know and trust, who are maintaining their vineyards at the highest standard.

“Any time you try something new, you take a gamble,” says Shafer. “But the story of TD-9 is all about risk-taking and a sense of adventure – it was there at our founding and it’s part of our DNA today.”

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