2012 Shafer "Relentless" Napa Valley Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Barrel Tasting. 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. Best from 2017 through 2028. (TF)
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.
A deep, powerful wine, the 2012 Relentless offers up a compelling mélange of dark red cherry, plum, dark chocolate, spice and new leather, all in a powerful style that will drink well with minimal cellaring. The 2012 is dense and pliant, but it needs a bit more time in bottle to show all of its potential. This is a classic 2012 built on fruit, with varietal character very much in the background. (AG)