Syrah / Shiraz

Syrah / Shiraz is a dark-skinned black grape variety producing red wine. It is called Syrah in its country of origin France. The name Shiraz is how it became known in Australia, which is the same grape variety but refers to a different style. Syrah is mostly referring to Old World style that is lighter in body and alcohol, leaner and with finer tannins. Shiraz refers to New World style that is generally richer and intense with riper fruity aromas, higher in alcohol and fuller in body. The flavour notes of the wines have a wide range from violets to dark berries, jammy fruit, chocolate, coffee, mint, black pepper and liquorice, depending on the climate and soils as well as winemakers’ practices such as oak barrel and yeast treatment. With aging, it can develop earthy or savoury tertiary notes such as leather and truffle. Syrah is the queen grape of the northern Rhone where it makes the muscular, deep-coloured, age-worthy, savoury and peppery wines of Hermitage. In Cote-Rotie, it is co-fermented with a small percentage of Viognier making more perfumed, slightly floral and refined wines. The most recognisable Australian Shiraz is the distinctively rich and ripe styles from Barossa Valley. Blends of Shiraz and Cabernet have also been an Australian speciality for decades.

The wine regions are across the globe from Old World to New World, such as Spain (Castilla-La Mancha), Portugal (Alentejo), USA (California), New Zealand (Hawke’s Bay). The styles of the wines can be told via Syrah-labelled and Shiraz-labelled.