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2013 DuMol Russian River Valley Syrah (Previously $70)

SKU #1165382 92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Led in the nose by a well-measured mix of mildly gamy spice, juicy, optimally ripe berries and fancy oak, this nicely composed Syrah is polished and pure in its fruit but never lacks for varietal authority. Its deep and very well-focused flavors tend to tighten after a deceptively open start, yet any limits that the wine seems to have are entirely the result of its youth, and there is no doubt at all about its long-term potential. We urge that it be set aside for no fewer than five years and anticipate continuing growth for another five or more after that.  (11/2015)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The three Syrahs that DuMOL makes go from a small production of the Jack Robert’s Run (250 cases) to just over 1,000 cases of the Russian River cuvée. The 2013 Syrah Russian River is fermented with about 30% whole clusters and displays notes of bacon fat, charcuterie, ground pepper, blackberry and cassis. A lovely, supple lushness and good purity make for a long, heady, rich Syrah to drink over the next 7-8 years. (RP)  (2/2016)

92 points Vinous

 A fabulous appellation-level wine, DuMol's 2013 Syrah is deep, dense and explosive, with the fruit pushed forward and plenty of supporting structure to back things up. Blue and black stone fruits, grilled herbs, lavender, smoke, menthol and graphite flesh out effortlessly. Drink this big, meaty Syrah over the coming years. The balance here is simply compelling. (AG)  (2/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Focused and savory, combining subtle power and finesse. Floral blueberry and tar aromas lead to complex flavors of smoky raspberry, cracked pepper beef and licorice. Drink now through 2022. (TF)  (12/2015)

K&L Notes

"DuMOL fashions three noteworthy Syrahs which probably receive less attention than they should because of the winery’s high visibility and credibility for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir," according to Robert Parker, who scored the 2012 vintage 94 points in December, 2014. DuMol wines, made by winemaker Andy Smith, are consistently a hit with Wine Spectator and Antonio Galloni, as well.

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.