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Dutton-Goldfield Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah 2013

Syrah/Shiraz from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE95
  • W&S92
13.8% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WE94
  • W&S91
  • WE94
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Cherry Ridge juts out over the west side of Green Valley of Russian River Valley, on a south-facing hillside just north of the Petaluma Wind Gap. It is both wonderfully scenic, and a great place to grow grapes. The proverbial "warm spot in a cold area" (because of its altitude and south face), Cherry Ridge is just temperate enough to ripen Syrah in a region best known for the cold-loving Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Syrah from this climate shows focused berry fruit, lots of spice, bright acidity, intense color and silky tannins. Just over five acres are planted here to four clones of Syrah.

The 2013 vintage really brings out the brightness in this rich and enveloping wine. The wine is alluring from the first look, with its beautiful, deep crimson/violet color. In the nose, the robust wild berry is framed by fresh cedar chest aromas. A trace of bacon goodness chimes in at the end, giving the wine that primal attraction we love in Syrah. The juicy boysenberry flavors are accented by a touch of white pepper, and the tannins are bold but fine-grained. The finish is especially lengthy and mouth-filling, carrying the wild berry on to a sweet and bright end.

The wine makes you crave grilled, slightly gamey meats to accompany it, like venison or bison, and also makes a great pairing with peppercorn chevre by the fireplace on a chilly winter evening.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Deliciously varietal in its huge offering of white pepper and robust black and blue fruit, this well-crafted wine boasts a lithe texture that invites sip after sip. It remains light footed throughout the palate, yet with enough complexity and balancing weight before the refined finish gives a final hit of juiciness.
Editors' Choice.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Grown on an east-facing hillside in Green Valley, this is a syrah with a sunny disposition, its bright lavender hue mirroring its clean line of flavor. It’s lithe and cool, as if morning light ripened the fruit to a blackberry sheen while shadowy late afternoons drew in savory green peppercorn and Douglas fir aromas. Splash it in a decanter and it’s ready to drink now.
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Dutton-Goldfield

Dutton-Goldfield

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Dutton-Goldfield, California
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Dutton-Goldfield Winery began with a handshake in a vineyard in 1998, when longtime colleagues and friends Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield recognized a shared vision between them—to craft wines that express the personalities of their cool-climate vineyards, and which they'd enjoy drinking at their own dinner tables.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the mainstays of the Dutton-Goldfield production. Using fruit from carefully chosen vineyards, Dan Goldfield produces wine that reflects the natural tendencies of the area: crisp, well-structured wines that display the complexity, balance and intensity that the partners believe are key to world-class wines.

Dutton-Goldfield Winery's first releases were a Dutton Ranch Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the 1998 vintage. Today Dan and Steve continue to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Dutton Ranch plantings, numerous vineyard-designated wines, as well as small lots of old vine Zinfandel and hillside Syrah. The Dutton-Goldfield wines are crafted using traditional techniques such as barrel and malolactic fermentation for the Chardonnay, and open top fermentation for the Pinot Noir.

The winery is a partnership of friends, colleagues, neighbors and families. The wines reflect this spectacular part of Northern California where the grapes are grown, the superb quality of fruit from perfectly placed and planted vineyards, and the work of an appreciative winemaker.

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Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

YNG170095_2013 Item# 169029