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Shafer Relentless 2007

Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
  • CG96
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14.9% ABV
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4.5 6 Ratings
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4.5 6 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2007 Relentless starts with glass-filling aromas of dark fruit, truffles and grilled meat, which is the Syrah talking. In the mouth the wine is smooth, round and elegant with meaty flavors, black cherry and plum, black tea, and black licorice. The firm, nicely ripen tannins ensure this will age magnificently.

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.

Blend: 84% Syrah, 16% Petite Sirah

Critical Acclaim

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CG 96
Connoisseurs' Guide
It is no exaggeration to say the 2007 version may just be the best Relentless to date, but even if not, it is a deep and formidable wine by any standard. Its inky appearance correctly implies a wine of great weight and extract, but, what separates this bottling from its equally well-filled predecessors is its terrific sense of structure and balance. It is tough to be sure, but it never lets go of its plentiful, peppery, blackberry fruit, and it will not come close to showing its best until at least another decade has passed.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The current release, the 2007 Relentless, exhibits a dense purple color as well as notes of grilled herbs, tar, blackberries, cassis, pepper and jus de viande. This full-bodied powerhouse should last at least 15-20 years.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A gorgeous wine, ripe and juicy, with black cherry, plum and cur- rant flavors joined by spicy cedar, graphite, tobacco and dried sage. Full-bodied and powerful, yet retrained and ageworthy. Syrah and Petite Sirah. Best from 2012 through 2022.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Relentless, a blend this year of mainly Syrah and Petite Sirah is always a very good wine. The '07 strikes one as, above all tannic and dry. Then the blackberry, black cherry, dark baker's chocolate, herb tea and smoked meat flavors kick in, impressing with their complexity. It's a distinctive wine quite unlike anything else in California. Despite the hard tannins, it's drinkable now, and will challenge chefs and sommeliers to figure out what to serve it with. The winemaker suggests braised short ribs, smoked lamb, roast duck and Cheddar cheese.
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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.

KOE96855_2007 Item# 96855