MacLaren Drouthy Neebors Syrah 2009
Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma County, California
Deep Purple color. Layered aromatics: Black Raspberry, Blueberry, Violet, Cedar, Dark Chocolate and hints of Wild Mushroom. Beautifully balanced palate; Black Raspberry, pepper, a hint of Wild Mushroom and Dark Chocolate. Soft tannins and balanced acidity keeps the wine light on it's feet bringing juicy fruits with structure then a beautiful long Dark Chocolate finish.
Wine & Spirits - "A syrah in the rich, black fruited mode, this is lush and round, its power gentled by woodland scents of violets. Serve it cellar temperature with braised beef."
MacLaren Wine Company was founded in 2007 by owner and winemaker Steve Law.
Steve worked in France for 12 years in the electronics industry, and it was during this time that he developed a love of french cuisine and wine. Steve traveled throughout France, enjoying and learning about the many different wine regions, and it was on a visit to the Northern Rhone region where he fell in love with Syrah.
The electronics industry then brought Steve to the San Francisco Bay Area and he immediately began to explore the local wine regions and wineries. It was on one such exploration that Steve met Michael Talty of Talty winery and so began a great friendship and wine making apprenticeship. After working with Michael for a couple of harvests Steve started his own label MacLaren and made some of his beloved Syrah.
Now residing in Sonoma with his wife Heather, he has left the corporate life behind and is concentrating on growing their small wine company.
MacLaren's primary focus is on Syrah. It starts by searching for premium "cool climate" vineyards capable of producing fruit reminiscent of the Northern Rhone.
The wine making style is heavily influenced by the french wines Steve loves; Fruit forward, balanced, and elegant, making the wines food friendly and easy to pair with different dishes.
MacLaren's goal is to have each wine express its specific vineyard and terroir, but with a french accent. Steve also works every year to find a blend, from all of the vineyards, which represents the best of the vintage. He enlists the help of friends and wine club members in deciding on the final Drouthy Neebors blend. Going forward, MacLaren continues to search for additional Syrah vineyards, but also for vineyards whose terroir and varietal combine to enable a wine to be produced in the same food friendly style. View all MacLaren Wines
About Sonoma CountyRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.