(1 customer review)

Shafer Relentless 2018

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15.80% /
750ml /
Vintage: 2018
  • WS 94
  • WE 94
  • WA 92
  • JD 98
  • JS 97
  • TP 96
  • VIN 95
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Shafer Relentless 2018 is a remarkable wine that pays homage to the relentless pursuit of quality by Shafer Winemaker Elias Fernandez. The grapes for this exceptional blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah are sourced from ridgetop and foothills sites along the Vaca Mountains, just south of the renowned Stags Leap District. Released on March 15, 2022, this wine showcases the outstanding characteristics of the 2018 growing season, which provided ideal conditions for the fruit to thrive and develop rich color, alluring aromas, and luxuriant flavors.

With a varietal composition of 76% Syrah and 24% Petite Sirah, Shafer Relentless 2018 exudes a dense purple color that captures the eye. The nose is immediately enticed by a bouquet of blackberry compote, red and black spice, dried black fruit, black tea, tobacco, and earthiness. It is a true sensory journey, reminiscent of liquid midnight.

On the palate, the wine reveals its opulence and complexity. Layers of flavor unfold gracefully, featuring blackberries, currants, smoked meats, peppery spice, and violets. The richness is balanced by vivacity, creating a harmonious blend that delights the senses. The ripe tannins provide a solid structure, promising continued beauty and opulence for decades to come.

Esteemed critics have recognized the exceptional qualities of Shafer Relentless 2018. Jeb Dunnuck awarded it a remarkable 98 points, describing it as “sensational” and comparing it to a great Cornas on steroids. James Suckling, awarding it 97 points, notes its superb depth, brightness, and focused nature. Vinous also praises its refinement, silky texture, and expressive finish, awarding it 95 points. Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator both give it 94 points, with the former highlighting its brooding and impressive nature, while the latter emphasizes its deep structure and polished character. Wine Advocate, awarding it 92 points, mentions the dominant presence of Petite Sirah, cedary notes, and an appealing licorice finish.

Shafer Relentless 2018 is a testament to the winery’s commitment to excellence, and Elias Fernandez’s skillful craftsmanship. This wine is a true gem, offering a sensory experience that showcases the best of the Syrah and Petite Sirah varietals in an exquisite blend.

1 review for Shafer Relentless 2018

  1. WS

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Critical Acclaim

WS 94
Wine Spectator
A compelling blend that marries deep structure with richness and polish. Features accents of black cherry, grilled anise and smoked pepper, with refined tannins on the finish.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This is a heavy, brooding and impressive wine, a blend of 76% Syrah with 24% Petite Sirah. Shocks of white pepper, violet and rich black fruit wrap around a thicket of firm tannin and hearty oak, the wine sinewy and richly layered. This is the 20th anniversary vintage of this wine.
WA 92
Wine Advocate
The 2018 Relentless tilts more towards Petite Sirah than many vintages, being a blend of 76% Syrah and 24% Petite Sirah, all aged 30 months in 100% new French oak. Scents of road tar, black olive and blackberries mark the nose, while the palate is full-bodied and framed by cedary notes, reasonably supple but tannic, then picks up an appealing licorice note on the finish. Best After 2023.
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
A blend of 94% Syrah and 6% Petite Sirah, the 2018 Relentless looks to be just about sensational, offering a dense purple color as well as rich, loaded notes of blackberries, currants, smoked meats, peppery spice, and violets. Reminding me of a great Cornas on steroids with its gamy, exotic character paired with beautiful richness, it has fabulous purity, ripe, polished tannins, and a great finish. This will undoubtedly be a great vintage for this cuvée, and my money is on it being one of the best yet.
JS 97
James Suckling
A young wine with superb depth and polish that shows great depth and brightness. Full and focused with blue fruit and long, fine tannins that are compact and energetic. Slate. Graphite. Sophisticated and curated. So beautiful to try now, but be patient and Best after 2026.
TP 96
Tasting Panel
In its 20th vintage - and possibly its most dynamic - this blend of 76% Syrah and 24% Petite Syrah aged 30 months in new, 60-gallon French oak barrels. Teeth-gripping, chalky tannins and dried violets flourish while white-peppered blueberry preserves and anise envelop the palate, whose balanced and structured density is mind-blowing.
VIN 95
The 2018 Relentless is silky and polished. In 2018 the blend includes a relatively high percentage of Petit Syrah, but the wine does not taste like that at all. Ripe red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, rose petal, black pepper and sweet spice are laced into the super-expressive finish. This might be the most refined Relentless ever.

What does Shafer Relentless 2018 taste like?

Earthy Flavors of the wine

leather, earthy, mushroom

Red Fruit flavors of the wine

cherry, raspberry, red fruit

Oaky Flavors of the wine

oak, tobacco, vanilla

apple, apricot, stone fruit

Black Fruit Flavors of the wine

blackberry, plum, dark fruit

Aromas and Flavors of Spices in the wine

pepper, licorice, cinnamon

toast, almond, nutty

Citrus notes found in the wine

citrus, tangerine

cheese, cream, campfire

Vegetal notes found in the wine

grass, straw, celery

raisin, fig, prune

guava, passion fruit, bubblegum

Floral aromas found in the wine

violet, lavender, perfume

Food Pairing with Shafer Relentless 2018

Our wine experts think this Red Wine Shafer Relentless 2018 wine would be a match made in heaven with these dishes. Bon appétit!
Shafer Vineyard
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Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, is a renowned family-owned winery. It has gained a reputation for producing exceptional wines, most notably the Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, considered one of California's finest wines. As one of the founding estates in the Stags Leap District AVA, Shafer Vineyards has become a standard of excellence in terms of quality. Covering approximately 57 hectares (140 acres), Shafer Vineyards owns several vineyards in the Stags Leap District. The Hillside Estate vineyard features shallow, well-drained soils that yield small, intensely flavored berries. The finest sections of this vineyard are dedicated to crafting the Hillside Select wine, known for its luscious plum and cherry flavors, as well as its...check our brand Shafer Vineyards
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Winemaker of Shafer Relentless 2018

Elias Fernandez - winemaker at Shafer Vineyards

Elias Fernandez

Elias Fernandez, the esteemed winemaker at Shafer Vineyards, is a true artisan in the world of wine. With a deep-rooted passion for viticulture and oenology, Elias has honed his craft over decades of experience and dedication. His relentless pursuit of excellence has helped establish Shafer Vineyards as a renowned producer of world-class wines. With a meticulous attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to quality, Elias masterfully blends traditional winemaking techniques with innovative approaches, resulting in wines that captivate the senses and embody the essence of the Stags Leap District. His expertise and artistry have garnered him immense respect and admiration among wine connoisseurs worldwide.
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Napa Valley AVA
Nestled an hour north of San Francisco, the Napa Valley AVA is acclaimed as a top-tier wine destination in the New World. This prestigious region, stretching 35 miles from southeast to northwest between the Vacas and Mayacamas mountain ranges, is home to some of the most esteemed vineyards globally. A scenic drive from Napa to Calistoga unveils the valley's viticultural gems, making it the best place to stay in Napa Valley for those seeking picturesque landscapes. In 1981, Napa Valley AVA earned the distinguished title of being California’s first American Viticultural Area (AVA), a testament to its esteemed position in the wine world. In Napa Valley's early winemaking days, vineyards displayed a mosaic of various grape... ...Check Region for more information

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