2005 Shafer "Relentless" Napa Valley Syrah

SKU #1041874 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The sensational 2005 Relentless boasts an opaque purple color along with a wonderfully sweet nose of blackberries, creosote, acacia flowers, and hints of pepper and meat in the background. Full-bodied and densely concentrated with the oak component well-concealed by the wine’s extravagant richness, this gorgeous 2005 can be drunk now or cellared for 10 years. (RP)  (12/2008)

90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good medium ruby. Cooler, vibrant aromas of blueberry, blackberry, cocoa powder and violet, along with a meaty nuance. Suave and rather high-pitched, with a silky texture but also a firm acid spine to the flavors of black fruits, bitter chocolate and menthol. Structured, juicy wine. Winemaker Fernandez adds the Petite Sirah "to give color, rustic tannins and ageability" and notes that he's much more likely to have to acidify the Syrah component  (5/2007)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Brimming with spicy, zesty wild berry, pepper, mineral and fresh earth flavors presented in a tight, focused, concentrated manner. Finishes with firm tannins and good length. Syrah and Petite Sirah.  (12/2008)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Big, dense, ripe and highly extracted all at the same time, this extraordinary wine is not for the faint of heart, but those who like their Syrahs to be bold, full of first-rate fruit, focused on blackberries, coffee, roasted meats and creamy oak with no let up in sight are going to love this latest version from Shafer. One could argue that the wine gets few style points, but that would miss the point. It is brimming with flavor, has power to spare and, rather than tilt to corpulence, it is possessed of fine underlying acidity.  (3/2009)

Wine & Spirits

 New oak dominates this syrah-petite sirah blend, masking the ripe blueberry and mulberry flavors with scents of dark roast coffee and caramel. Built for the cellar.  (2/2009)

Wine Enthusiast

 This blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah is made in a drink-me-now style that emphasizes sheer deliciousness. Soft and almost sweet, it dazzles with pastry-filling cherries and raspberries, with exotic touches of cocoa, anise and cinnamon. Tannins provide a sturdy architecture, but they’re ripe and accessible.  (3/2009)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.9