Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – 95 points
The anomaly in the Shafer portfolio is the Relentless, which is created from the southern foothills of the Vaca mountain range and was debuted largely at the insistence of Elias Fernandez. The first vintage was 1999, and this big, massive, Rhône Valley-inspired wine is certainly a wine capable of lasting 20-25 years. A blend always dominated by Syrah, but with various percentages of Petite Sirah, the 2013 Relentless has a tiny quantity of Petite Sirah (only 3%). It is a stunning wine, with notes of roasted meats, beef blood, lavender, new saddle leather, blackberry and pepper, followed by a wine with a huge, massive, plush texture, an opulence and richness that are stunning, and a long, long finish. It can be drunk young for its exuberance and boisterous character or cellared for another 20+ years.
Wine Spectator – 93 points
Structured and well-framed by taut tannins and lively acidity, this blend will benefit from time in the cellar. Floral blackberry and espresso aromas lead to densely complex flavors of dark plum, licorice and mineral. Syrah and Petite Sirah. Best from 2019 through 2027.