2016 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.

“This second vintage of TD-9 offers bright, energetic aromas and flavors of red plum, raspberry, strawberry, spice box, exotic fruit, and red licorice. The momentum of all this enticing fruit, along with ripe tannins, is carried through to a long, tantalizing, feast of a finish.” 
— Shafer winemaker Elias Fernandez


“…as a very deep purple-black color and displays ready-for-biz, fragrant scents of warm plums, Black Forest cake and blueberry compote with touches of baking spices, bay leaves and potpourri. Full-bodied with a serious, firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins, the palate delivery loads of black fruit and spicy layers with bags of vivacity and panache.”
— Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate

“The winery’s proprietary blend of 58% merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec is hugely impressive and memorable, with a smoky, toasted oak character. Plush flavors of blackberry and cherry jam meld with spice on the rich, round midpalate. It offers plenty of grip and concentration, finishing with a handful of dried herbs.”
— Virginie Boone, The Wine Enthusiast

“The 2016 TD-9 exudes raciness and total class, along with a bit better balance than the 2015 tasted along side it. In 2016, winemaker Elias Fernandez aged the components together, which, along with the natural pedigree of the vintage, goes a long way in shaping the wine's striking quality. A burst of red cherry, plum, lavender, rose petal and spice lead into the silky, super-polished finish.”
— Antonio Galloni, Vinous

“Black cherry, red plum and red rose aromas. Medium-full with very good concentration. Excellent complexity, rich tannins, spicy, peppery finish and tantalizing ripe fruit.”
— Tom Hyland, Forbes

“This Merlot-based blend is rich and supple with notes of plum, cassis, black cherry, clove, cinnamon and mocha.”
— Catherine Fallis, PlanetGrapeWineReview.com

Vintage and Production Notes

Release Date: September 1, 2018

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


The 2016 Growing Season: The 2016 Growing Season: Plenty of rain in winter and spring ended a series of drought years and kicked off a long, warm growing season that produced clusters of fruit with radiant color, pure flavors, and enticing aromas.

Varietal Composition: 58% Merlot, 26% 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 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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