Earthy, rugged, rich, and rustic, Shafer Vineyards once again hits it out of the park with their 2017 Shafer Relentless Syrah ($95). Produced from vines grown on a small ridge in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains in the Stags Leap District AVA, peppery, spicy Syrah is blended with 14% black cherry, blackberry, and balsamic filled Petit Sirah for a well-rounded, savory wine with character.
The vineyard area is inherently cooler, and drier than some parts of Napa Valley, ensuring that robust fruit also maintains a sense of freshness, key for producing a wine that is elegant and elevated upon release but also has the ability to age nicely for the next several years.
Structured and textural, layering ripe red and black fruit with woody herb, smoked meat, and earth. The wine is aged 60 months in new French oak, adding another layer of spice, cedar, and vanilla. The wine has a bold tannin profile that begins with a power punch of intensity, that mellows as you allow the wine to breathe a bit. With a robust 15.7% alcohol, be sure to enjoy with food, like a grilled ribeye, venison, or beef stew.