2002 Shafer "Relentless" Napa Valley Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The brainchild of winemaker/viticulturist Elias Fernandez, the Relentless (a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Petite Sirah aged 32 months in 100% new French oak) has been a fabulous success since its debut vintage. There are 2,500 cases of this remarkable cuvee. The inky/purple-hued 2002 Relentless possesses a fabulously exuberant, extroverted nose of black fruits, creosote, flowers, and pepper along with huge, sweet blueberry, chocolaty, espresso notes. Flamboyant, rich, full-bodied, and intense, but not overweight, it will drink well for 10-12 years. (RP)
*Two Stars* If ever a name was well-chosen, "Relentless" fits this utterly bombastic wine to a "tee". There is no pretense to polish or concessions to finesse here, but there are few, if any, wines in this issue that can measure up in terms of sheer richness and size. We will concede that it may be a bit overdone and may be seen in some eyes as too much of a good thing, but its extravagant fruit, its very complex combination of coffee, chocolate and sweet spice, and its remarkable strength and stamina add up to a delicious, head-turning effort that will develop famously for years.
*Ranked #37, Top 100 Wines of 2005* A tremendous wine from the start, with captivating aromas of rich currant, beef, blackberry and wild berry. Tightly focused and impeccably balanced, this offers wonderful complexity and depth with a long, rich, intense finish. Syrah and Petite Sirah.
*Cellar Selection* Epitomizes the rich, extracted style of Napa Syrah, cramming jammy blackberries onto a large, sturdy structure, framed by considerable toasty oak. Yet despite the concentration, it doesn’t lack for complexity; there are hints of coffee, chocolate, meat and leather to be sniffed out, and these should become even more notable after cellaring. Drink 2008–2015, maybe beyond.