The extraordinary 2010 Relentless (96% Syrah and 4% Petite Sirah) offers up notes of graphite, subtle wood charcoal, barbecue smoke, blackberry, blueberry and raspberry fruit, and hints of spice and meat. This full-bodied, supple-textured, exceptionally rich Syrah already has a certain accessibility, but should age well for two decades. (RP)
Firm, rich and dense, this combines power with finesse, offering a deep mix of chewy dark berry, dark chocolate, black licorice, road tar, tobacco and loamy earth flavors, tightly wound and leading to a long finish. *Top 100 Wines of 2013, Highly Recommended* (JL)
Shafer's 2010 Relentless bursts from the glass with super-ripe dark purple/blue fruit, cloves, leather, mint and white flowers. The 2010 is a deep, fruit-driven wine endowed with superb texture and gorgeous depth, but a bit less in the way of varietal nuance. Layers of fruit continue to build through to the huge, voluptuous finish. I have no doubt the 2010 will be a crowd pleaser, as it is delicious. Still, it would be great to see a little more Syrah personality. The 2010 is 96% Syrah and 4% Petite Sirah. (AG)
It's not just the succulent blueberry, black cherry, mocha, currant, bacon and new oak flavors that make this wine so impressive—it's the structure. The tannins are as gorgeous as Napa is capable of producing, while the acidity is delicate and finessed.
Bound to be a bette noire to those who abhor wines of uncompromising ripeness and sheer size, this year's Shafer Relentless is as always an intense and deeply draughted wine of immense volume and extract. It is brimming with ripe-berry fruit with lavish oak apparent at every turn, yet while never a prim and pretty wine, neither is it so tough as to be out of bounds. Only fans of unbridled power would think to pull its cork now for it is one very much meant for the cellar and comes with a decade-plus of potential. *Two Stars*
Saturated full ruby. Pungent, expressive aromas of blackberry, minerals, spices and game. Densely packed, concentrated and sweet, showing very good energy to its dark berry and licorice flavors. Finishes with sweet tannins and lovely length. Wears its high alcohol gracefully and comes across as a bit more serious than the equally strong 2009 bottling. (ST)
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