Saturday, February 7, 2009

2005 Dutton-Goldfield Syrah Dutton Ranch Cherry Ridge

Type: Red
Producer: Dutton-Goldfield
Variety: Syrah
Designation: Dutton Ranch
Vineyard: Cherry Ridge
Country: USA
Region: California
SubRegion: Sonoma County
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Price: $35.99

The Big Wooden Guy loved this stuff. You might too.

Night One

The nose has ground espresso and cocoa powder, blackberries, and some leather.

The palate comes at you with waves of flavors. Blackberries and coffee, plums, all make up the attack. Fruits sweeten on the mid-palate, adding some blueberry to the blackberry. The espresso changes to unsweetened cocoa. There is interesting minerality the expands from the attack through the finish. Leather shows up at the end of the mid-palate and lingers with black fruit on the finish.

Night Two

The elements of the nose have not changed much from Night One, but the order definitely has. Now blackberries are most prominent, with an added darker current of, well, blackcurrant. Espresso and unsweetened cocoa powder remain, but now they are both behind the blackberries, and the cocoa is more prominent. A little leather remains at the end of the sniff.

One the palate, curiously, the reverse happened. Now, coffee and unsweetened chocolate lead on the attack, while fruit follows. The fruit is deeper, just like on the nose. Now, though, some blackcurrant and sour cherries join the blackberries. This wine also has plenty of minerality, as if you had a few clean river rocks down at the bottom of your glass. Tannins are smooth and add a taste of leather at the end. The finish is long.

This is really good wine. It is not Aussie Shiraz, all jammy fruit. It is also not Northern Rhone Syrah, all earth and olives. This has good fruit, earthy coffee and chocolate, and great terroir minerality.

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