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Shafer Relentless 2006

Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
  • CG95
  • RP94
  • WE94
0% ABV
  • V95
  • WS91
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • W&S93
  • RP97
  • JS95
  • WS94
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5.0 2 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah is a juicy feast of black plum, blackberries, meatiness,coffee, briar fruit, black pepper and mocha. The ripe tannins bring it all together for adelicious, long-lasting finish.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 95
Connoisseurs' Guide
Year in and year out, this is one of the most challenging wines we taste. It never fails to skirt the edge of excess, and just when we are sure that it can not escape, it delivers a rich and polished passage on the palate with an amazing amount of highly ripe, entirely alive fruit that balances the assertive tannins and comes with enough acid energy to keep itself together for drinking now if that is your wont and cellaring for a half decade or more for those who prefer that route. Its combination of power and good manners makes it a winner again
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Relentless may be even better. It possesses an opaque purple hue as well as a grapy, smoky perfume displaying scents of roasted meats, blackberries, licorice, and charcoal. This packed and stacked, full-bodied 2006 should drink beautifully for 10-15 years.
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Another outstanding Relentless from Shafer. As usual, the wine is massively constructed and extraordinarily rich and deep in flavor, offering waves of grilled blackberries and cherries, red currants, licorice, bacon, cola, black pepper and other spices. The tannins are very big, but completely ripe and sweet. Mainly Syrah, with 16% Petite Sirah, this wine will age, but it's really best now with hearty foods, like short ribs or lamb.
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Shafer

Shafer Vineyards

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Shafer Vineyards, , California
Shafer
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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

SFC102050_2006 Item# 102050

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