2010 Shafer "Relentless" Napa Valley Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The extraordinary 2010 Relentless (96% Syrah and 4% Petite Sirah) offers up notes of graphite, subtle wood charcoal, barbecue smoke, blackberry, blueberry and raspberry fruit, and hints of spice and meat. This full-bodied, supple-textured, exceptionally rich Syrah already has a certain accessibility, but should age well for two decades. This was a fascinating tasting with one of the superstar reference point/iconic wineries in all of California. Shafer-s Relentless project has been a huge success since the debut. Blending Syrah and Petite Sirah, aging it for a long time in French oak, and not compromising on any element of the winemaking process has put them at the top of the Rhone Ranger sweepstakes. From the Stags Leap District, the Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five was named by the Shafers to honor the generation and a half of the family that has been involved in this winery-s success. Turning to Shafer-s Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon is akin to entering one of the world's museums of liquid art. This is unquestionably one of California-s, and the world's, most iconic and greatest wines. When Chateau Latour bought the Araujo estate, I thought the entire value of the Shafers and of this particular vineyard probably jumped by 30-50% because of that purchase. This is a first-growth wine from a magical site, and it has been one of the top half dozen or so California Cabernet Sauvignons in every vintage since the early nineties. That's a remarkable track record. In ever
*Top 100 Wines of 2013* Firm, rich and dense, this combines power with finesse, offering a deep mix of chewy dark berry, dark chocolate, black licorice, road tar, tobacco and loamy earth flavors, tightly wound and leading to a long finish. Syrah and Petite Sirah. Best from 2014 through 2026.
A blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah, Shafer’s Relentless is a testament to the winery’s commitment to these varieties despite their domination of the Cab market. The wine shows the huge power and balance of Shafer’s Cabernets, with a different flavor profile. It’s soft and gentle but complex in ripe tannins, with blackberry, cherry, cassis, cola, red licorice, sweet tobacco and rich Asian spice flavors.