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Shafer Relentless 2013

Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • W&S93
  • CG92
15.8% ABV
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4.5 14 Ratings
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4.5 14 Ratings
15.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Pull the cork on this vintage and you'll find an inky, liquid feast - aromas and flavors of meat and game, briar fruit, morels, boysenberry, grilled blueberries and cinnamon. The acidity gives this otherwise deep, dark wine a liveliness that offer engaging pleasure. The ripe, silky tannins offer tremendous promise for things to come after years in the cellar.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The anomaly in the Shafer portfolio is the Relentless, which is created from the southern foothills of the Vaca mountain range and was debuted largely at the insistence of Elias Fernandez. The first vintage was 1999, and this big, massive, Rhône Valley-inspired wine is certainly a wine capable of lasting 20-25 years. A blend always dominated by Syrah, but with various percentages of Petite Sirah, the 2013 Relentless has a tiny quantity of Petite Sirah (only 3%). It is a stunning wine, with notes of roasted meats, beef blood, lavender, new saddle leather, blackberry and pepper, followed by a wine with a huge, massive, plush texture, an opulence and richness that are stunning, and a long, long finish. It can be drunk young for its exuberance and boisterous character or cellared for another 20+ years.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Structured and well-framed by taut tannins and lively acidity, this blend will benefit from time in the cellar. Floral blackberry and espresso aromas lead to densely complex flavors of dark plum, licorice and mineral. Syrah and Petite Sirah. Best from 2019 through 2027.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Elias Fernandez grew the fruit for this syrah at La Mesa Vineyard, a ridgetop with shallow soils of volcanic ash at the southern reaches of the Stags Leap District. The vineyard includes a small amount of petite sirah, its fruit adding depth to the tannic structure of the blend. This is, by far, the best vintage of Relentless I have tasted, a wine with brisk red fruit woven into the darker, purple tones of the vintage. The floral depths of the aroma include notes of bergamot and rose. As luscious as the texture may be, there’s an energy that drives the tannins, lending them the cool freshness of a blood orange to win the battle against the rich, chocolatey new oak in the end. (3,300 cases)
CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide
As usual, Shafer’s Relentless is an extremely expressive and manylayered Syrah that is unsurpassed among its peers in size, depth, and brawny astringency and, and while even its fruit is oversized, this is not a wine for every palate. On the other hand, if sheer bombast is your cup of tannin, then by all means do step up, for there are few wines in this tasting that can match its power and potential. And whether it is aged four years or fourteen, it guarantees to reward long cellaring time, and a half-dozen strikes us as a good place to start.
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Shafer

Shafer Vineyards

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Shafer Vineyards, California
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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.

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Napa Valley

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Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.

Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.

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ENG161219_2013 Item# 161219