Region: Russian River Valley, California, USA
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Tasting Notes: Wild Mountainside Syrah is all about fruit purity—it cascades, expands, envelops, centers, and dominates every aspect of the wine. In the vineyard, a series of warm days immediately prior to picking brought a flush of uniform ripeness to the grapes and this is directly translated into the wine’s fruit profile. The vines produced a moderate crop of small berries filled with wild fruit density and floral, peppery, cool-climate aromatics.
The wine itself is inky and concentrated. Blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry fruit characters dominate both aromas and palate. There’s vibrant grapefruit zest, floral lilac, wild thyme and roasted meat characters. The fruit is plush and deep, but there’s always a sense of mountain precision and detail. A savory ferrous note adds intrigue to the full-bodied, chewy palate but the wine remains fine and polished throughout.
95/100 Jeb Dunnuck
While the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs get most of the love from this terrific estate, don’t miss their Syrahs! The 2016 Syrah Wild Mountainside is a power-packed, deep, rich, concentrated beauty that offers sensational, northern Rhône-like notes of blackberries, white pepper, bacon fat, and wild scrub/sagebrush-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and perfectly balanced, it’s a beautiful Russian River Valley Syrah that will keep for over a decade.
94/100 Wine Spectator
A bruiser, with big, plump fruit, yet polished and structured, offering expressive black raspberry, licorice, stony mineral and pepper flavors that take on richness toward refined but broad-shouldered tannins. Drink now through 2025.
Pairing: Lamb chops, roast lamb, braised lamb, all lamb. Bacon, bacon, bacon! Moroccan tajine, steak fajitas, Peking duck, and the list goes on! Think red meat, game, and pork with good saltiness and spices and you have win. Falafel, and mushroom dishes are great vegetarian options. Falafel By Mark Bittman has proven a fail safe recipe, make alongside a lamb dish if you are a meat lover, and pour a glass of this Syrah!
About: DuMOL is an acclaimed and sought-after small producer based in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley in California. It makes a selection of site-expressive wines from the Russian River and Sonoma Coast predominantly from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Small lots of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and (probably most unusually) Mencia are also grown and produced from top vineyard sites in Sonoma and Napa.
The business is based in Windsor, nine miles north of Santa Rosa. There are currently six estate vineyards, and over two decades DuMOL has developed strong relations with some of the state's top growers to source or farm fruit on contract from over 20 further sites.
Most of the wines are single-vineyard bottlings. These are released via allocations to DuMOL's consumer mailing list and to select restaurants around the world.
The Highland Divide label is used for multi-vineyard blends of estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These wines are designed to be fruit-forward and drinkable on release. The name describes the zone which divides the valley floor of the Russian River from the Sonoma Coast, regarded as the optimal grapegrowing location. DuMOL also offers their Wester Reach label with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to select restaurants and retailers.
The small production team is lead by winemaker, viticulturalist and partner Andy Smith. He has been with DuMOL since 1997.
The Wild Mountainside Syrah is grown exclusively in high-elevation mountain vineyards, where the vines struggle to produce small crops of truly unique character and incredible quality.
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