2007 Shafer "Relentless" Napa Valley Syrah

SKU #1063898 96 points Connoisseurs Guide

 It is no exaggeration to say the 2007 version may just be the best Relentless to date, but even if not, it is a deep and formidable wine by any standard. Its inky appearance correctly implies a wine of great weight and extract, but, what separates this bottling from its equally well-filled predecessors is its terrific sense of structure and balance. It is tough to be sure, but it never lets go of its plentiful, peppery, blackberry fruit, and it will not come close to showing its best until at least another decade has passed. *Three Stars*  (3/2011)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The current release, the 2007 Relentless, exhibits a dense purple color as well as notes of grilled herbs, tar, blackberries, cassis, pepper and jus de viande. This full-bodied powerhouse should last at least 15-20 years. (RP)  (12/2010)

94 points Wine Spectator

 A gorgeous wine, ripe and juicy, with black cherry, plum and currant flavors joined by spicy cedar, graphite, tobacco and dried sage. Full-bodied and powerful, yet restrained and ageworthy. (JL)  (2/2011)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Relentless, a blend this year of mainly Syrah and Petite Sirah, is alway a very good wine. The '07 strikes one as, above all, tannic and dry. Then the blackberry, black cherry, dark baker's chocolate, herb tea and smoked meat flavors kick in, impressing with their complexity. It's a distinctive wine, quite unline anything else in California. Despite the hard tannins it's drinkable now, and will challenge chefs and sommeliers to figure out what to serve it with. The winemaker suggests braised short ribs, smoked lamb, roast duck and Cheddar cheese.  (4/2011)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Distinctly musky aromas of dark berries and dark chocolate. Lush, sweet and concentrated, with fine-grained, rather polite dark berry and pepper flavors nicely framed by harmonious acidity. The lightly musky quality adds sex appeal to this very young wine. Finishes with broad, suave tannins and excellent length. This is built to age. 91+ (ST)  (6/2011)


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Price: $119.99

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.9