Shafer Relentless 2010
Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
#72 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013
Relentless offers dense, enticing aromas and flavors of purple/black fruit, smoked meat, spice, incense, black plums and berry. Even at this young age it offers elegance wrapped in extract, with ripe tannins and good structure for aging. In the mouth it's full and rich from the first taste through the long finish.
A bold wine like Relentless complements similar concentrated flavors found in dishes such as Syrah-braised short ribs, smoked lamb with Relentless reduction, roast duck, as well as beef and game. Aged, dry cheeses such as Cheddar, Abbaye De Belloc, and Manchego also pair deliciously.
The 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."
Wine Spectator - "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."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Freshly cut flowers, violets, mint and licorice all jump from the glass in the 2010 Relentless. In 2010, the Relentless is quite a bit more varietally expressive than the 2009, but then again, it is almost exclusively Syrah. A wine of gorgeous aromatic intensity, the 2010 impresses for its considerable energy, focus and freshness. The blend is 96% Syrah and 4% Petite Sirah.
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John Shafer and his family founded Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, in 1979. From the Shafers' first wine, a 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon, their wines have won much acclaim. Today, the Shafers farm 200 acres of vineyard in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Oak Knoll regions. Their flagship wine, Hillside Select, is produced from selected blocks of the family's hillside vineyards and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Merlot, One Point Five (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Relentless (a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend), which was named #1 wine of the year by Wine Spectator's "Top 100" of 2012. View all Shafer Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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