2007 Shafer Relentless
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Community Tasting Note
TSBWine Likes this wine: (93 points)
June 11, 2013 - 93+ Points. About a 2.5 hour decant at room temp. then cooled to serving temperature before pouring. As a note, I'm a big fan of Syrah and believe that it has a real sense of place (terroir) wherever it's grown. From Rhone to Napa, Central Coast, Australia or South Africa it shows a great variety of character. The Shafer Relentless is no exception.
On the nose there are generous portions of dark fruits and very obvious freshly-cut cedar with a menthol edge. On the palate, the wine shows rich, pure, macerated blackberries followed by ripe black currants and a mid-palate loaded with cacao and cedar before it finishes with cracked pepper and oak spices. With more aeration in the glass the wine developed herbaceous notes reminiscent of wild sage but never seemed to gather itself to express it in a profound way. (unlike some cooler climate Syrah). The alcohol absolutely pokes through at points but the rigid structure and acidity of the wine holds the ship together well enough to express plenty of character without falling apart.
An elegant wine it is not, but there's a lot of visceral pleasure here with enough interest and delineation to hold your attention. A bit of a burly wine and rough around the edges but it has enough focus to express some really lovely character. I would argue that despite it's ripe nature and higher alcohol levels that it still expresses a number of pure characteristics (particularly the blackberry) with excellent focus which speaks to its high quality. It's excellent now but could prove to develop in the bottle for another 4-6 years before plateauing.2,631 views