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2011 DuMol Syrah Russian River Valley
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89 Points | International Wine Cellar , May/June 2014

(13.9% alcohol; just a bit of whole clusters used here):  Bright violet-ruby color.  Aromas of blackberry, violet and black pepper.  Juicy, sweet and intense but a bit clenched today, in a distinctly cooler style.  Dark berry flavors are accented by a peppery quality and given grip by dusty tannins.  This will go meaty and tarry with five years in the cellar but will it truly blossom in the bottle?  "There isn't a huge blast of California fruit in the 2011 syrahs," observes Smith.

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About California

It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...

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Syrah

While the grape is currently grown throughout the world, the most elegant Syrahs still come from the Northern Rhone valley, particularly the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Cornas, and Hermitage. Here, steep, terraced vineyards help produce full-bodied, intense, tannic wines loaded with white pepper and red fruit. In the vineyard, Syrah is largely cooperative- vines are productive, but not overly vigorous. Skins are thick, helping the grape...
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