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.
We taste this proprietary blend of Syrah (86%) and Petite Sirah (14%) almost every vintage, and this time we admired the elevated elegance of its structure, with silkier tannins than we recall in former bottlings. Grown on a small ridgetop just south of the Stags Leap District, the grapes experienced a lengthy hang time, and the result is stunning: Chocolate, black plum, slate, black olive, and leather reveal themselves in the opaque, carmineblack–hued liquid, which aged 30 months in 100% new French oak and has an ABV of 15.8%.
Not yet bottled, the 2017 Relentless includes slightly more Petite Sirah (14%) than the 2016 and has a slightly fresher, more elegant style as well as sunny notes of blackberries, raspberries, cassis, ground pepper, and flowers. Full-bodied, with silky tannins, ample fruit, and a great finish, it’s another impressive vintage for this cuvée.
Deep and powerfully built, with a rich and polished texture that highlights wild berry and blueberry flavors that show notes of espresso, smoky beef and black pepper. Finishes with big but refined tannins. Syrah and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2030.
Composed of 86% Syrah and 14% Petite Sirah, the 2017 Relentless has a deep garnet-purple color and fragrant notes of cracked black pepper, licorice and violets over a core of plum preserves, Black Forest cake and mulberries plus an earthy waft of tar. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has lovely purity and freshness, featuring ripe, rounded tannins and lots of pepper and spice layers, finishing refreshingly savory.