Shafer Vineyards, based in Napa, California, produces four red wines and one Chardonnay. The reds include two Cabernet Sauvignons, a Merlot, and a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend.
The 2008 Shafer Relentless was 75% Syrah and 25% Petite Sirah. The wine was aged for 30 months in new French oak barrels. The label was listed ABV was 15.6%.
As I had become more acquainted with Syrah and Petite Sirah, a friend mentioned Relentless to me. He asked if I had sampled the wine as
it had received a 96 rating from Wine Spectator he had heard it was good and he wanted to taste it was interested in my astute opinion on the vintage.
I managed to acquire several bottles of the aforementioned wine. After tasting the wine, I can say with certainty I should have bought more.
Prior to tasting, the wine was decanted for 1 1/2 hours.
Pouring the wine, the color was cherry red.
The nose was interesting (good interesting). A mix of blueberry, chocolate, and violets. The bouquet was fantastic.
As I took a sip, I sunk into bliss. Oh, so mild blackberry and raspberry intermingled with dark chocolate and mocha. There was zero heat from the ABV on the palate. The wine had a creamy texture (how do they do that?!). It was outstanding.
The finish on this wine was spectacular. It was super long (I didn’t time it, but should have). Smooth tannins, berries and chocolate. All flowing together in a calming wave (where did I get that phrase from?).
This was a great bottle of wine. It was complex and extremely well balanced. My notes 4 hours in read “just got better”. That is not an everyday occurrence.
The 2008 Shafer Relentless set me back $60. If you are a fan of Syrah or Petite Sirah, I strongly recommend you give it a taste. It is a delicious blend at that price point.