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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 deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

VWD4383019_1999 Item# 50422