Doffo 2016 Syrah

Doffo 2016 Syrah

Winery: Doffo Winery
Product/Varietal: Syrah
Vintage: 2016
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley

Rating: 93

Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Matt Kettmann rated this wine 90 points.

How They Describe It

Wine lovers will enjoy this heavy-hitting wine. Deep red in color, the Syrah’s aromatic profile is marked by notes of leather, truffles, caramel, peppers, smoke, vanilla and hints of ripe red fruits. This unctuous wine is lush on the palate and leaves a pleasant finish.

How I Describe It

This wine is a medium-deep ruby red. It’s still young enough that it hasn’t started to show orangey aging notes, and certainly isn’t “inky”, but you won’t see any light pass through the center of the glass.

What hits first are intense aromas of clove, nutmeg, and smoky cedar wood. Along with hints of coconut and vanilla, this is likely because the wine spent time in new oak barrels.

Fruit-driven scents which follow are a bouquet of blackberry and black cherry, mint and eucalyptus, with undertones of earth and tobacco.

Dark plum and black cherry take center stage, along with blackberry. The fruit notes together come across as stewed, tart, and a little jammy. Oak elements include smokey charcoal, clove, vanilla, and resin.

Interestingly, as the wine breathes, the fruit flavors open up to include candied raspberry.

This is a dry wine with medium-plus acidity, well integrated medium-plus tannins, and at 13.4% ABV a surprisingly average alcohol level. Nevertheless, Doffo’s 2016 Syrah’s flavors are intense, which last long after imbibing, and the wine has sturdy body.

Why is This Wine Special?

Doffo is a winery in the Temecula Valley AVA which commands tremendous respect. Their Zinfandel is renowned (regularly selling out), and the winery itself won the 2018 Winery of the Year award from the local tourism bureau. Doffo Winery is also well known for its motorcycle theme.

As far as the 2016 Syrah goes, it’s an incredible representation of Syrahs from the Northern Rhône, like those from Cornas, Hermitage, or Côte Rôtie (though the latter two French appellations blend or co-ferment their wines with white varietals). Like what Doffo created, these appellations are known for producing intense, earthy Syrahs.

I was also surprised how rich the fruit elements are in the 2016 Syrah for having such low alcohol — for a Temecula wine. In a warmer climate, grapes tend to produce more sugar, hence the high ABV’s of wines like this, this, and this. I expected too much new oak to mask under-ripe fruit. Fortunately, I was very wrong.

On a side note, don’t mistake Syrah for Petite Sirah. Both make exquisite wines, but they are two very different grapes, with very different flavors, which share a similar name only because the berries resemble one another.

When & How I Would Drink It

This is a big, beefy wine which should pair well with big, beefy dishes — like beef. Look for recipes for prime rib and filet mignon, lamb, stews, pulled pork, or bacon/pork belly.

While perfect for pouring with a hearty meal, my wife and I enjoyed this the Doffo 2016 Syrah at the end of a long day, sitting together in front of the television. In the warm Southern California climate, if you can find a nice fire pit, this wine would be a perfect accompaniment.

How to Get It

Order Online:

Bottle Price: $62

Cases Produced: unknown


Have you tried the Doffo 2016 Syrah? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.

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