Shafer Relentless 2005
from Napa Valley, California
ratings pedigree (past vintages):
A blend of 78% Syrah and 22% Petite Syrah.
The flavors and aromas are immense, round, mouthfilling and long-lived with a luscious
blend of rich blackberry, black plums, meatiness from the Syrah and a dose of blueberry from
the Petite Sirah. The tannins are ripe and long-lived, with a lengthy, pleasing finish.
A heavyweight 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.
"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.
Celebrating 30 years of consistent quality and both critical and commercial success, this family run winery remains one of the most admirable operations in California. The Shafers have had tremendous success with their Relentless, which was first released in 1999. A blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Petite Sirah that spends 32 months in 100% new French oak, it is a remarkably consistent offering that rarely displays much oak. The Syrah is from Napa’s cool-climate Oak Knoll sector. One of the world’s most prodigious Cabernet Sauvignons is Shafer’s 2,000-case cuvee called Hillside Select. Always 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% new French oak for a whopping 32 months, it boasts a gorgeous track record dating back to the early nineties, and just about every recent vintage has flirted with perfection."
The Wine Advocate
"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. Drink now through 2012."
"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. 90-92"
International Wine Cellar
"22% Petite Sirah. 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."
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