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Shafer Relentless 2005

Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
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0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.

WS 92
Wine Spectator
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.
CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide
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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Shafer

Shafer Vineyards

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Shafer Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
Video of winery

Shafer Vineyards in Napa Valley, California, is an iconic family-owned winery, named one of the top 25 vineyards in the world by wine publication Wine & Spirits and “one of the world’s greatest wineries” by wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr.

Since 1978 the Shafer family has produced wine in the Stags Leap District, one of the most highly-regarded winegrowing regions within Napa Valley.

Shafer’s wines, including its signature wine, Hillside Select, are found in collectors’ cellars and on wine lists in top hotels and restaurants throughout the world.

The small winery is managed by father and son team John and Doug Shafer. Elias Fernandez is winemaker. Shafer cultivates more than 200 acres of estate vineyards, sources for Shafer’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Syrah.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

JCZRELENTLESS_2005 Item# 97249