With the 1999 vintage, Shafer Vineyards introduced Relentless, an exciting, innovative mix of Syrah and Petite Sirah, dedicated to winemaker Elias Fernandez’s relentless pursuit of excellence. On release in 2002, the wine was showy and fruit-forward. I opened a bottle the other night for a look at it at age 10.
It took a while for this wine to open up. It showed a strong tarry, earth, black licorice and graphite mix of flavors—reminding me a bit of a mature Barolo—and slowly unfolded to offer a baked cherry pie note on the finish. It is appropriately subtle, with more supple tannins at this age, but shy on great length. 88 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com: Read the original blind-tasting review for Shafer Relentless Napa Valley 1999 (93, $46).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated California Syrahs".