2009 Shafer "Relentless" Napa Valley Syrah
Brimming with dark, rich berry, loamy earth, crushed rock and espresso. This is a powerful expression that is also tapered and sophisticated, ending with all kinds of subtle nuances that come alive on the finish. Syrah and Petite Sirah. Best from 2013 through 2024. (Web Only- 2012)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Relentless (Syrah/Petite Sirah) wraps around the palate with serious depth. Dark cherries, grilled herbs and menthol take shape in the glass followed by sweet floral notes that add lift on the finish. A rich, round and voluptuous wine, the 2009 impresses for its overall sense of harmony. It isn’t terribly varietal, but is quite pretty if taken on its own terms. The 2009 is 82% Syrah and 18% Petite Sirah. Personally, I prefer the subsequent vintages, where Syrah plays more of a leading role. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. 93+ points.
Relentless is Shafer's Syrah-based red wine. it's always rich, ripe and bold, and the 2009 is no exception. the alcohol is very high, making the wine heady and warm. If you can get past that, you'll find a huge wine, massive in blackberry, plump raisin and chocolate flavors with soft tannins and a long, sweet finish. The blend contins 19% Petite Sirah.
This wine is an excellent followup to the 2008 vintage, which was Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" for 2012. A field blend including 18% Petite Sirah, the grapes for Relentless are sourced from a ridgetop site and a foothills site along the Vaca Mountains just south of the Stags Leap district. The wine spent 30 months in all new 60-gallon French oak barrels. From winemaker Elias Fernandez: "The 2009 offers dense, enticing aromas and flavors of purple/black fruit, smoked meat, spice, incense, black plums and berry. Even at this young age it offers elegance wrapped in extract, with ripe tannins and good structure for aging. In the mouth it’s full and rich from the first taste through the long finish."