Syrah / Shiraz

Think big, think Syrah or Shiraz as it is more commonly known in the New World. It is regarded as one of the great noble black grape varieties due to the dark full bodied age worthy wines it produces. How long it has been in existence still remains a mystery. It is possible the Ancient Romans planted it though some historians believe it goes as far back Greek times. Whatever the history it continues to grow in popularity and today is the world's 6th most planted grape.

Chief Characteristics

Syrah is responsible for some of the darkest full-bodied red wines in the world its flavours ranging from sweet blueberry to black olive had rich dark chocolate. On first taste it there is an explosion of fruit flavours followed by spicy peppery notes on the finish. Because of its upfront flavours it is often blended with other varietals that tone it down slightly and help balance the wine. For example in the Southern Rhone Syrah is often blended with Grenache and the even richer Mourvedre to create the very classic style Côtes du Rhone blend.

Key Regions

One of the jewels of the Rhone Valley where it produces some of the finest and rarest of reds both in its single varietal form – in the North- and as part of a blend – in the South-. Its quality is also gaining increasing recognition further south in the Languedoc region where it seems to have proved most at Coteaux du Languedoc, Corbieres and Minervois. Outside of the regions of Southern France its other spiritual home is Australia where it has long been referred to as Shiraz. Whilst black pepper is often the trademark of French Syrah dark chocolate is the principal character of Shiraz from down under the region most noteable for its big rich Shiraz being the Barossa Valley.

Wines The Facts:

  • The word Syrah it is believed comes from the word “Syracruse” – a city in Sicily
    Some of the most expensive Syrah in the world is from Hermitage, in the Northern Rhone
    It is thought the parents of Syrah are two very obscure grapes; Dureaz & Mondeuse Blanche

Grape representations to try:

Black Craft Shiraz

Percheron Shiraz Mourvèdre

'Naked on Roller Skates' Some Young Punks

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