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MacLaren Drouthy Neebors Syrah 2009

Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma County, California
  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

W&S 90
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.

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MacLaren, , California
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.


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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

DUEMACLARENDNSYR_2009 Item# 128188

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