A rich elegant blend originating from a rugged, sloping vineyard planted in the chaparral foothills of the Vaca Mountains. This site produces a consistently rich and elegant wine. It has a tenacious backbone of Syrah dominated flavors with blueberry, smoke and char aromas leading to an opulent palate of bramble fruit, black pepper, and bacon. It certainly lives up to its name.
“Year in year out, [Shafer] is one of the superstar wineries, not only in Napa Valley and all of California, but in the entire world...Today, this is a winery that does everything about as perfect as can be. They have kept their feet, heads and egos grounded, and continue to kick proverbial ass with every vintage.” – Parker In 1972 John Shafer departed his 23 year career in publishing and moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a second career in wine. Fortuitously, he found a 210 acre parcel in the Stags Leap District and set up shop. His first task at hand was that of replanting the vineyards, some of which dated back to the 1920s. The Shafer family crushed their first Cabernet in 1978 and began building their winery the next year. Needless to say, that first release became not only a benchmark but a legend in its own right. Eventually they expanded their beautiful hillside acreage and in 1983, John's son, Doug Shafer, became winemaker after graduating from U.C. Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. Since then, Doug has stepped up to becoming the company's president and has passed the winemaking reins over to Elias Fernandez. From their somewhat modest beginnings, Shafer has blossomed into a world-class estate that is nationally and internationally renowned.
I’ve consistently loved the Relentless cuvée from this team, which is always from a single vineyard and is Syrah-dominated, with about 10% Petite Sirah in the blend. The 2016 Relentless is sensational. Dense purple-hued with a sweet bouquet of jammy blackberries, ground pepper, charcoal, and some smoky, meaty notes, it’s a full-bodied, powerful, yet plush, even elegant Syrah that does everything right.