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McDowell Reserve Syrah 1999

Syrah/Shiraz from North Coast, California
  • W&S90
0% ABV
  • WS86
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A soft, round Syrah full of lovely berry-spice flavors. The nose is soft and ripe with forward jammy fruit notes, with subtle floral hints of rose and violets. The mouthfeel is round and supple, with flavors of vanilla, bright cherry fruit and peppery spice.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 90
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McDowell

McDowell Valley Vineyards

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McDowell Valley Vineyards, North Coast, California
Nestled in the Mayacamas Mountains of Southeastern Mendocino County, McDowell Valley Vineyards was established in 1970. Their vineyard has one of the longest records of continuous wine grape production in California. Syrah and Grenache had been planted there for almost a century, when the Buckman family planted Syrah and Grenache wine in the McDowell Valley. Today, of the 330 acres of grapes planted in the 500-acre valley, nearly a third are dedicated to Rhone varietals such as Syrah, Grenache and Viognier. At present, McDowell is a renowned producer of Rhone varietals wines, utilizing the grapes from this original vineyards, which were replanted in 1948 using the same genetic material. Bill Crawford, owner and winemaker, has spent the last 30 years at McDowell Valley working in every phase of the operation.

North Coast

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Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.

Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

VWD4383019_1999 Item# 50422