2012 Shafer "Relentless" Napa Valley Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Syrah Relentless, which has not yet been bottled, is a blend of 89% Syrah and 11% Petite Sirah. In keeping with this amazing year, it’s full-bodied, juicy, succulent, flamboyant, with blueberry and blackberry fruit galore, lots of glycerin and a massive mouthfeel, but no heaviness or astringency characterize this stunning wine. This should turn out to be a great, great Rhône Ranger when released in a year or so. (RP)
This is very fresh and balanced with a dense and silky texture plus lots of violet, berry and hints of sandalwood. It’s full and very silky. Long and intense. Hints of smoky, spicy, wonderful fruit. Lots of tannin but shows an intensity and power. Needs time to soften, but beautiful.
A deeply structured blend that combines power with richness. Aromas of blackberry and crushed rock open to layered, complex flavors of black cherry, espresso and smoky cracked pepper. Tannins are big but fleshy. (TF)
*Two Stars* 11% Petite Sirah. Big, bold and not in the least demurring, but meeting every expectation for Relentless, the new 2012 version is once again a no-holds-barred exhibition of sweet oak, meaty spice and wonderfully deep, blackberry fruit. It is, as always, a proponent of unfettered ripeness, and, as is inevitably the case, its extraordinary fruit somehow manages to overcome palpable heat and no small measure of gritty young tannin. Even die-hard fans of the biggest, most gutsy, rough-hewn red wine are advised to employ patience here, and, while five or six years of cellaring are sure to make a very good thing even better, an even dozen is our recommendation.
The exuberance of the year comes through in spades in the 2012 Relentless, a ripe, flashy wine loaded with pure Napa Valley richness and intensity. Dark red/blue-toned fruit melds into spices, wild herbs and tobacco. The 2012 stands out for its open personality, soft contours and terrific overall balance. (AG)