Shafer Relentless 2013
89.00 €(1 l = 118.67 €)
Brilliant Syrah from California
Napa Valley, Kalifornien, USA
Wine Advocate #215 - Oktober 2014 (Parker)
The same can be said for the 2013 Syrah Relentless, which might end up being the finest one they've ever made. The berries were the smallest they've encountered, and they were not the only winery to say that about the 2013 red varietals. A blend of 97% Syrah and 3% Petite Sirah, the wine is opaque black/purple with an incredible nose of subtle wood, charcoal embers, blackberry, blueberry and black raspberry fruit, baking spices, and again, a roasted meatiness with some bouquet garni thrown in the background. The complex aromatics were already starting to roar from the glass, and the wine, enormously endowed, is full-bodied and flawlessly constructed. This is a killer effort that should drink well for 40+ years.
Year in year out, this is one of the superstar wineries, not only in Napa Valley and all of California, but in the entire world. It's the product of visionary John Shafer, who started in 1978 after a successful corporate career. He had the foresight and visionary genius to believe in the microclimates and soils of Stags Leap of the southern Napa Valley. When his son Doug came on board with their brilliant winemaker and Mr. Everything, Elias Fernandez, things soared in quality and diversity. 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. They made some of the very finest, possibly the Cabernet Sauvignon of the vintage in 2011, and in 2012 and 2013, they have crafted one profound wine after another. For starters, their Chardonnay has always been a non-malolactic Chardonnay, of which 75% is barrel-fermented and the other quarter in stainless steel. As good as it is, it's hard to believe they produce a whopping 6,400 cases of it. John and Doug Shafer, along with Elias Fernandez, have certainly excelled at turning out gorgeous Merlots that are concentrated and fleshy as well as elegant. A big success for Shafer has been their Stags Leap One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon. They make between 6,000-7,000 cases of this wine in any vintage. About one-third of their famous Hillside Vineyard, which represents 100% of their flagship wine Hillside Select, goes into this cuvée. I did an entire vertical of the Shafer Hillside, from 1978-2013, but I'll include the older notes on the erobertparker.com website. What follows are notes on the last four vintages of the Hillside Select, their 2,400-case cuvée of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 32 months in 100% new French oak. Lastly, another sensational wine from the Shafer portfolio is the Relentless. This has been a terrific Rhône Ranger offering since it was first released in 1999, and it continues to be primarily a 89%-97% Syrah blend and the rest Petite Sirah. Like the Hillside Select, it's aged 32 months in new oak prior to being bottled. I have no idea how long these wines will last, but they're fabulous to drink young, and certainly 20-25 years is well within reach of just about every top vintage of Relentless. Kudos to Jeff Cohn who has put together 13 riveting wines from fabulous sources that reflect his impeccable craftsmanship. As it says on his labels, You'l never know unless you try it.
Wine Advocate #227 - Oktober 2016 (Parker)
The anomaly in the Shafer portfolio is the Relentless, which is created from the southern foothills of the Vaca mountain range and was debuted largely at the insistence of Elias Fernandez. The first vintage was 1999, and this big, massive, Rhône Valley-inspired wine is certainly a wine capable of lasting 20-25 years. A blend always dominated by Syrah, but with various percentages of Petite Sirah, the 2013 Relentless has a tiny quantity of Petite Sirah (only 3%). It is a stunning wine, with notes of roasted meats, beef blood, lavender, new saddle leather, blackberry and pepper, followed by a wine with a huge, massive, plush texture, an opulence and richness that are stunning, and a long, long finish. It can be drunk young for its exuberance and boisterous character or cellared for another 20+ years.
There are very few wineries in California where you can say that the original wine owners and winemaking staff are totally intact and have been, in this case, since 1978. The estate was founded by John Shafer and run with great precision by himself and more recently by his son Doug and Elias Fernandez. The team has been working together for 38 years since the first vintage in 1978. Six years earlier in 1972, John Shafer bought the property and established the vineyard in the hillsides of Stags Leap. They produce about 30,000 cases of wine, all of it noteworthy. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is true first-growth quality and their Rhône Ranger wine made from Syrah and Petite Sirah, called Relentless, is about as profound as you can get from those varietals. Kudos to Jeff Cohn who has put together 13 riveting wines from fabulous sources that reflect his impeccable craftsmanship. As it says on his labels, You'll never know unless you try it.
Additional product information
- Contains Sulfites
- 16% vol.
- Bottle Size
- 0,75 Liter