Year in and year out, this is one of the most challenging wines we taste. It never fails to skirt the edge of excess, and just when we are sure that it can not escape, it delivers a rich and polished passage on the palate with an amazing amount of highly ripe, entirely alive fruit that balances the assertive tannins and comes with enough acid energy to keep itself together for drinking now if that is your wont and cellaring for a half decade or more for those who prefer that route. Its combination of power and good manners makes it a winner…
The 2006 Relentless may be even better. It possesses an opaque purple hue as well as a grapy, smoky perfume displaying scents of roasted meats, blackberries, licorice, and charcoal. This packed and stacked, full-bodied 2006 should drink beautifully for 10-15 years. Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points
"One of the world's greatest wineries."
- Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate
Shafer Vineyards traces its beginnings to 1972 when John Shafer left a 23-year career in the publishing industry and, with his family, moved to the Napa Valley to pursue a second career in wine. After purchasing a 210-acre estate in Napa Valley's Stags Leap District, the Shafer family faced the arduous task of replanting the existing vineyards, which dated to the 1920s, and terracing the steep and rocky hillsides, eventually expanding vineyard acreage to its current 50 acres.
Evolving from grape growers to vintners, the Shafers crushed their first Cabernet grapes in 1978 and began construction on their winery a year later. The first Shafer Cabernet became a benchmark, winning the acclaimed San Francisco Vintners Club taste-off upon release and, over a decade later taking first place in an international blind tasting held in Germany, where it outranked such wines as Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateau Palmer.
Doug Shafer became winemaker in 1983 after graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in enology and viticulture. A year later Elias Fernandez joined the winery as assistant winemaker. Together Doug and Elias have worked closely to forge the Shafer style of quality, consistency and elegance. From a modest beginning of 1,000 cases in 1978, the winery has grown steadily until reaching its present size of 32,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Syrah.
As the #1 back-vintage retailer in the US, Benchmark Wine Group prides itself on being a trusted source for the greatest wines in the world. Their unparalleled market knowledge and exceptional service have come together to provide the most accessible cellar of rare and sought-after wines with a guarantee.