2005 Syrah, Russian River Valley
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
What We Say
COVERT SAVINGS ALERT!
Today’s wine is offered at 20% off, but if you order six bottles or more, we’ll save you even more by throwing in Free Ground Shipping – but only if you enter coupon code SPYSYRAH.
Mission Codename: San Carlos, France?
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Locate a dark, dusky, delicious, flexible and fantastic Syrah for our Operatives to enjoy with meals – or a stand alone treat
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Domenico Wines
Wine Subject: 2005 Syrah
Winemaker: Dominick Chirichillo
Backgrounder: The popularity of Syrah is undeniable. Big and bold in flavor and texture, it packs a concentrated punch of flavor that many people love. This Rhone varietal, although many believe that the grape originated in the Persia region, is 100% French in lineage. The Syrah grape is directly descendant from the Monduese Blanche and Dureza varietals and is grown worldwide with great success. Today’s serious Syrah is a juicy and bold treat with great flavors, deep aromatics and a great mouth feel. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep garnet to burgundy in color with perfect clarity with a deep and inky heart of purple, a tight surface, concentrated color to the edges – with long and skinny legs that start way high up the glass after swirling
Smell – Rich, juicy and earthy with bold perfume of beautiful fruit of dark stonefruit, blackberry, smoked meats, cherry, raspberry, earthen pepper and a slight nuttiness
Feel – Round and warm cooling at first, then gently grippy with soft tannins that dry the lips, cheeks and tongue. Despite the relatively high alcohol present in this wine, it is nothot or brash
Taste – Bold flavors that are sweet and delicious with juicy and savory flavors of dark cherry, plum, smoky blackberry, soft white pepper, leather, and tart cherry
Finish – Long and flavorful, the slightly dry and a little tart, this delicious leaves behind lingering and mouth watering flavors
Conclusion – Given how much I loved the last Domenico wine I sampled, I was not surprised by today’s delicious Syrah. Allow ample time for decanting to get the most out of this wine, as time in the air will allow the wine to soften and lose a little bit of its heat. Powerful flavors are balanced against a medium-bodied feel. With fruit that really shines through on your palate, and a brightness that makes it a brilliant food-friendly gem, this wine is certain to please. Enjoy now, and if you have the patience, cellar a few bottles for another six years or more for an even better experience.
I originally discovered Domenico earlier this year. Here, for your information and enjoyment, is a recap of my original ‘mission’ to the winery, where I tried another of their great wines, a Nebbiolo. Today’s great Domenico wine is their Russian River Valley Syrah
I find wines and wineries in some of the most unexpected places. Take, for example, Domenico in…. San Carlos, California. One look at San Carlos and you’d never think wine. Filled with housing developments, office parks and industrial warehouses, San Carlos is nearly 72 miles from Napa, or a drive of more than an hour.
It was on a drive to Napa that I learned about Domenico. I had just added some performance upgrades to the spy car and, well, let’s just say that I failed Auto Shop in High School. On Highway 101, in San Carlos, the car began to sputter. I pulled off on Whipple Avenue and limped along until I found myself at a dead stop on Industrial Avenue.
The car was dead. A quick check on my handheld revealed that the nearest Lotus mechanic was more than 20 miles to the north, in San Francisco. As I was pondering my dilemma, my handheld began to beep a distinct deet-deet-BOOP pattern. Great, now my handheld is busted, too! This audible pattern usually means one thing: Great wine nearby. Surveying my surroundings, I surmised that the device must be broken. What a day.
I got out of the car and stretched, pondering my next moves, when another alarm sounded from my handheld. This time, I looked at the screen and saw the words, “Superior Wine Alert: Domenico Wines: 500 Yeards”. A green arrow pointed the way – to what looked like a giant warehouse. I shrugged, squared my shoulders and walked to investigate.
As I approached, I saw the sign: “Domenico Wine”. Amazing.
Once through the doors, I was greeted by a beautiful tasting room. And, a wine bar that had to be about 25 feet long! Lined up neatly on the bar were the elegantly stylized bottles of Domenico.
I introduced myself and enjoyed a flight of their great wines. My favorites? Their delicious Nebbiolo. I am a great fan of the varietal and drinking the wine transported me to past missions in Italy’s Piedmont region. That made me think of Alfa Romeos and Ferraris. Which jolted me back to reality, and my broken Lotus. Then, another few sips was all I needed to forget my woes. I called for backup and settled in for an extended tasting, and the warm hospitality of the good folks at Domenico.
If you ever find yourself in San Carlos – hopefully under better circumstances – please pay Domenico a visit. Meanwhile, if you want a really superb wine, add a few bottles of their Nebbiolo to your archives.
Wine Spies Winery Check:
The location of the Domenico Tasting Room can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – “Florida State Fair International” – 2008
About This Wine:
Full-bodied, big mouthfeel, with a nice length of flavors and a lingering finish, with medium tannin structure. Aromas of blackberry jam, cream/vanilla, hazelnut and earthy notes. Pairs well with steak, lamb, game, pasta with tomato sauces, or sharp cheeses.
About The Winery:
Dominick and Gloria Chirichillo’s choice of name for their winery is a reflection of their commitment to their Italian heritage and the tradition of family winemaking. In 1955 in New York, Dominick who is called Domenico in Italian was introduced to these traditions by his Nonno (grandfather), Domenico Giovinazzo. In the basement of their home was a wine press that Nonno showed Dominick; passing down from one generation to another the love of handcrafting wine.
Dominick’s passion for winemaking took him from amateur competitions, while he lived on the East Coast, to commercial status after moving to Northern California. Moving to California has enabled Dominick to choose his grapes hands-on from selected vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma’s Central Coast, Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Amador County and the Lodi District. Not to mention he is a member of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, where he sources Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. As of spring 2006, the wines of Domenico have won 95 Medals for wines produced from these various regions!
Prior to opening Domenico Wines, Dominick and Gloria’s passion for the wine business was shared with others on both the East and West Coasts through Bacchus Winemaking Club. This membership club enabled many more people to create their own wines with custom labels. Over 200,000 cases of wine have been created by amateur winemakers on both the East and West Coasts through the years. See the website, www.bacchuswinemakingclub.com for more information on making your own wines.
Our recipe for success in the wine business is simple… take the finest grapes of California, add Dominick’s passion, blend with family tradition, and you get wine that exudes complexity, finesse, and agreeability. We invite you to come by the winery to taste for yourself.
Varietals: 95% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre