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Community Tasting Notes (average 106 notes) - and median of 92 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by vanpe003 on 8/19/2014: Haven't had one of these in 6 years. Opened without any research....surprised how young it's drinking. Flavor profile that reminds me of some Oz shiraz, though not the heavy Parkerized ones. Decent balance of fruit, acidity and tannins suggest some further aging can be handled. The only question mark is a bit of alcohol heat on the mid-palate. Perhaps a decant would have helped, but I wasn't really expecting it to be needed. (1050 views)|
| ||Tasted by RR47 on 6/16/2014 & rated 92 points: I repeat my notes of Dec. 2013: Still a brooding Relentless than can be drunk or stored for years. Dark, dark red/purple. Nose of good aged Syrah with some Petite Syrah, blackberries, tar, spice, and black pepper. Needs a few hours of open time to show off. Nice attack and mid, with 20 second finish and noticeable tannins. Purchased at release. (1154 views)|
| ||Tasted by robertgoulet on 1/18/2014: Massive!!!wtf does petit sirah not age?....deep dark purple, hedonistic on the palate...a freak of nature, open next bottle in 8-10 years (1670 views)|
| ||Tasted by RR47 on 12/6/2013 & rated 93 points: Still a brooding Relentless than can be drunk or stored for years. Dark, dark red/purple. Nose of good aged Syrah with some Petite Syrah, blackberries, tar, spice, and black pepper. Needs a few hours of open time to show off. Nice attack and mid, with 20 second finish and noticable tannins. Purchased at release. (1764 views)|
| ||Tasted by Senso-beak on 5/9/2013 & rated 94 points: Opened and bottle aired. Wow, this must have been brutal as a youngster. Pours a thick dark ruby to purple, heady, ripe blackberry paste and plum - very sweet smelling with some youth still showing on the nose. Sweet, almost candied fruit on the attack, tooth staining, love the petite sirah in this blend. Plenty of acidity to give this lift. Solid structure in the mid-palate, showing black cherry, hoisin, blueberry cobbler. Smooth on the finish. With more air the sweet fruit gaining momentum that powers through a long finish. Additional notes of creosote, iron and kirsch as this gains air and warmth. Hides the ABV well. The WS drinking window of 2008 end of life is way off. In a nice drinking window now and plenty here to go another 5-10 years for sure. Superb for a 13 year old in a difficult 2000 vintage, look forward to the last two. (2754 views)|
| ||Tasted by hfindlay on 5/30/2012: Yum. Still young, black, and vital with a big core of plummy fruit (a pleasant dash of raisin?) and tons of pepper notes. Soft and voluptuous, a great Californian syrah! (2833 views)|
| ||Tasted by wabi47 on 3/23/2012 & rated 93 points: big masculine dark cherry, earth, black/blue berries, cassis; full mid palate with earthy tannins that are in the background to the big fruit; good balance for such a big wine and didn't seem out of place with our lighter style meal. could easily hold longer. (2743 views)|
| ||Tasted by sirswami on 9/16/2011 & rated 91 points: Still looking and drinking very well - it's a dark beauty with the winemaker's description of Relentless still holding true: “multi-layered and expansive,with concentrated flavors of blackberries and black cherries on the palate, nice vanilla on the mid-palate and aromas of black pepper spice and earthy undertones from the Petite Sirah.” (2932 views)|
| ||Tasted by klaberdog on 9/5/2011 & rated 93 points: - Brick color with medium forming legs and aromas of blackberry and has flavours of oak with a medium/full body. Round texture with a medium finish - Wonderful with grilled flank steak and veggies. Full bodied, tannins , blackberry (2752 views)|
| ||Tasted by Loren Sonkin on 10/10/2010 & rated 93 points: A couple of cases on a Saturday afternoon: i quit drinking these years ago. Turns out they age great! This was delicious and so well balanced. It did throw a lot of sediment so I would decant. Inky purple. The nose is gamey with leather and black raspberries. Still some tannins. Quite delicious. Black raspberries and some alcohol. Just starting to come together. I wish I had a couple to lay down for a few more years. (3779 views)|
| ||Tasted by mcneil7 on 7/18/2010 & rated 92 points: Big bold expression of dark cheery on the nose tobacco spice with dark chocolate and oak, taste is balanced and smooth (2789 views)|
| ||Tasted by davidandrose on 5/29/2010 & rated 94 points: Decanted and drunk from Syrah Somm. stems (the sommelier series stems softened the tanins and opened the nose slightly compared to the standard syrah stems, but this was still excellent from the standard syrah stems.)|
This was bought on the secondary market immediately after drinking my last bottle of this in 4Q08 and is in great form. Still pours a deep purple-black coloring. Cedar, tar and a hint of eucalyptus and clove on the nose. Tanins are perfectly integrated and offer a dusty finish with a little spice. Dark fruit is overpowered slightly by the tanins, more tar, and a little sense of the alcohol wrap this up. This is certainly my favorite Relentless and may be my favorite syrah; an outstanding wine on its own, a superstar when you figure the vintage. I thought this was in the prime of its drinking window 18 months ago; I think it may be APPROACHING its peak today, but it is likely to still improve a smidge. Yummers. (2978 views)
| ||Tasted by djreme on 3/25/2010 & rated 89 points: Drank this at a restaurant, and although very good, did not live up to expectations. Maybe my expectations were too high. This was a bottle I looked at in the cellar for years, and maybe I was looking for more. Nonetheless, a very good, dark, full bodied wine. (3107 views)|
| ||Tasted by KeithAkers on 1/29/2010 & rated 90 points: Blind Night (HB Home Bistro, Chicago IL): nose: rich, dark, and ripe nose of red cherries, blue fruits, black fruits, chocolate tones, and bits of red and black currants. Good depth, but a bit over ripe right now and over the top|
taste: full bodied with rich and chewy tannins along with massive tones of black fruits, chocolate, red and black currants, and tones of red cherries. The tannins are a bit overpowering and mute the tones a bit
overall: Was very surprised when the vintage was revealed. This came off as very young and was massive. On the ripe side and showed itself off well in the bigger style (3222 views)
| ||Tasted by Biglama on 9/20/2009 & rated 91 points: paars donker rood, veel bezinksel, neus is erg zwoel en sexy, spicey, rijp donker fruit, houtgebruik is goed te ruiken, smaak is breed en stevig, met gewicht en diepgang, mooie balans, wijn staat als een huis, erg aanwezig, romigheid en soepel, veel indrukken en vooral de rijpheid en warmheid, alles is wel goed in verhouding, nu wel drinken (3531 views)|
| ||Tasted by tkoby11 on 8/8/2009 & rated 91 points: Color: It's started to lighten a bit, dark red center with red edges|
Nose: Oodles of blueberry, the petite sticks out above the syrah. Some other black and rich red fruits, oak andmore blueberry.
Palate: More black berry and exta rich (3541 views)
| ||Tasted by egh on 6/9/2009 & rated 93 points: Consumed over the course of two nights. 81% Syrah, 19% Petitie Sirah. 14.9% alcohol. Inky purple verging on black. The nose is brooding with blackberries, oak, creosote, chocolate, and anise along with a mint/menthol note that emerged on the second night. On the palate, this effort shows seriously full bodied, large scaled, plushly textured, tooth staining, and still quite youthful for a nearly 9 year old wine with a core of purple/black fruits along with distinctive black pepper and oak accents (with the black pepper note emerging and the oak becoming absorbed/less pronounced on the second night). This bottle threw a significant amount of sediment, so decanting is recommended. My favorite Napa Valley Syrah (which I have determined is not my preferred appellation in CA for the varietal) to date. (3714 views)|
| ||Tasted by Lorien on 4/9/2009 & rated 93 points: This was the only American wine in my cellar, and which I purchased back in 2004. Shame I only purchased one bottle, as I was INCREDIBLY surprised by this wine. My exceptions were not high (well they were low actually). I found this to be a very well made wine, with an elegant feel within a fruity profile. The balance and smooth feel is what I found to be at the highest level, and was amazed on how well everything was integrated. Tasty, interesting and enjoyable! If this is an indication of this winery (my first Shafer), and of this style, then I guess I am a big fan. Looking forward to try some more during my next visit to the US. This wine is lovely now, but can hold a little longer, though I don't see it improving. NICE!! (9311 views)|
| ||Tasted by Mark on 3/26/2009 & rated 90 points: No tasting note recorded. This wine was delightful, drinking very well right now. Medium lingering finish. Very nice. (3933 views)|
| ||Tasted by Fisk15 on 2/10/2009 & rated 87 points: I hope this bottle is not an indication of where this wine is going. On day one, the frutie was muted with a strange pepper and paper taste. On Day two, the fruit expressed itself, while more muted than in the past. I hope this bottle was tainted, otherwise it does not bode well for my two remaining bottles. (3956 views)|
| ||Tasted by dbg on 1/2/2009 flawed bottle: Corked! Some dense fruit under there, but undrinkable. (3932 views)|
| ||Tasted by mcneil7 on 12/24/2008 & rated 94 points: Wonderful wine loads of blackfruit dark chocolate and spice on the nose. Taste was well balanced suddle tanins and oak with loads of flavor (3948 views)|
| ||Tasted by davidandrose on 12/19/2008 & rated 93 points: Our final bottle, drank at just about the perfect time. Still pours jet-black and thick, though not as syrupy-looking as it was a few years ago. Softer profile but still lots of dark fruit, spice, tar and a little cedar. I imagine it will hold at this point for a year or three, but this bottle was drinking perfectly with little room to improve. (3948 views)|
| ||Tasted by vanpe003 on 9/27/2008 & rated 90 points: Popped/poured. Nose open, palate closed. Decanted and revisited 2 hours later. Dark fruit, menthol and cedar on the nose. Much the same on the palate. Still a bit tight in terms of mouthfeel, and slightly clipped/astringent on the finish. Not a bad bottle of wine, but I've had better samples of Relentless. Perhaps better with time, but it's hard for me to tell. (3931 views)|
| ||Tasted by Fisk15 on 9/7/2008 & rated 91 points: Still has a oak influence, throwing a bit of sediment too. Meaty at first giving way to blackberry fruit. I think that I will drink the remainder of mine over the next year. (3955 views)|
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NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com and Vinous. (manage subscription channels)
|By Jancis Robinson, MW|
(Shafer, Relentless Napa Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Stephen Tanzer|
Vinous, May/June 2003, IWC Issue #108
(Shafer Vineyards Relentless Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Stephen Tanzer|
Vinous, May/June 2002, IWC Issue #102
(Shafer Vineyards Relentless Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
Shafer Producer website
John Shafer and his family founded Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, in 1979. From the Shafers' first wine, a 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon,
their wines have won much acclaim. Today, the Shafers farm 200 acres of vineyard in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Oak Knoll regions. Their flagship wine, Hillside Select,
is produced from selected blocks of the family's hillside vineyards and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Merlot, One Point Five
(Cabernet Sauvignon) and Relentless (a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend), which was named #1 wine of the year by Wine Spectator's "Top 100" of 2012.
Syrah Blend Varietal character (Appellation America)
USA WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!
California California Wines (Wine Institute of California)
California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.
Napa Valley Napa Valley Wineries and Wine (Napa Valley Vintners) | Article in CellarTracker
Napa Valley Napa Valley AVA