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Shafer Relentless Bottle

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2011 Relentless®

Released AUGUST 29, 2014
Suggested California retail: $80.00

“Relentless, a riveting blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah, is a groundbreaking red from Napa Valley …”
— James Laube, Wine Spectator

The cool weather in spring continued into the sunny, mild summer, holding fruit development to a slow, even pace. With extra work in the vineyard, pruning away any less than idea fruit, we enjoyed a harvest of beautiful clusters leaded with elegant, enticing flavor.

Winemakers notes
“This latest Relentless is all about rich, ripe elegance offering alluring aromas and flavors of classic Syrah meatiness along with black plum, black pepper, black fig, smoke, forest floor and subtle black truffle. The mouthfeel is seamless and round from front of the palate through the finish with a texture that is liquid silk. The finish lingers on and on. This vintage will continue to offer new pleasures with more time in the cellar.”
— Shafer winemaker Elias Fernandez


This wine honors long-time Shafer Winemaker Elias Fernandez and his relentless pursuit of quality. Sourced from small ridgetop and foothills vineyards adjacent to the southern border of Stags Leap District, Relentless is a proprietary blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah.

The two grape varieties grow side by side in vineyard blocks that offer a variety of sun exposures throughout the day, including steep eastern blocks for lots of morning sun and westward sloping blocks, offering midday and late day solar exposure. Thanks to its thin, volcanic soil and quick runoff the vineyard consistently delivers effusive flavors.

At harvest the Syrah and Petite Sirah varieties are typically picked, crushed, fermented and barrel aged together, producing a wine of distinctive richness and elegance.

Related Links

2011 Relentless Fact Sheet
2015 Current Releases
The Relentless® Story

Shafer Brochure
Finding Our Wines
Robert M. Parker Jr.’s The Wine Advocate,
October 2014

2011 Relentless® – Reviews

“ … exhibits a similar opaque blue/purple color [as the 2010] as well as remarkable concentration and balance. With stunning perfume, purity, texture and full-bodied richness … this compelling effort is one of the superstars of the vintage in 2011.”
— Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

“There no denying the power in this wine, which contains Syran and Petite Sirah  sourced from one ridgetop Stags Leap District site. But in this case, power is a beautiful thing, sinewy and contained. Complex in plum, gamy meat and a lingering suggestion of coconut, it has size offset by the acidity, and a beguiling finish of cracked black pepper. Things will get more interesting in the cellar, through 20121 – 2026. Cellar Selection.”
— Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast

“This big red brims with dark, rich, chunky blackberry and wild berry fruit, with notes of black licorice that edge toward prune. Maintaining a fine balance for its size, this is extracted, with firm, chewy, peppery tannins.”
— James Laube, Wine Spectator

“A single vineyard wine built on the bold blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah, Shafer's Relentless grips with intense dark fruit aromas wrapped in generous cedar spice. Leaning on a legacy of quality and commitment, winemaker Elias Fernandez crafts a wine of depth and distinction. Relentless is a reflection of that pursuit, vintage in and vintage out … full-body, dense fruit structure, earth-driven nuances and ongoing peppery finish …”
— Stacy Slinkard,

… meaty and smoky, sassy and seamless -- not an easy feat to craft. Notes of plum, fig, forest floor and cracked black pepper. It’s 91 percent syrah and 9 percent petite sirah, and it wears the blend well.”
Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Peg Melnik

“… attractive, forward, meaty, peppery, blackberry pie aroma with good depth and intensity; full body; big, deep, extracted, mouth-filling, black fruit flavors with oaky undertones and firm, supporting acidity … very highly recommended.”
California Grapevine

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The Spirit of Relentless

Shafer's bold blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah was named to honor winemaker Elias Fernandez and his relentless pursuit of quality.