|So good they named it twice… Shiraz is mostly found in Australian wines, and Syrah, the name used in its homeland, France, the rest of Europe, California and so on.|
Shiraz has become synonymous with the New World’s rise to fame as wine producers. The style in Oz is often full-bodied, with rich fruit chocolate and spice notes. The warm growing conditions lend an almost sweet feel to the wine while in France – particularly in the Rhône, Syrah’s first home – pepper is the unmistakeable hallmark of the grape.
Syrah’s most renowned use is in the Rhône – particularly Côte Rotie and Hermitage. Here bottles can demand a very high price, but look further south and you’ll find Syrah used very successfully in blends – often with Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault – and going for considerably less dosh. In France, Syrah’s hallmark aroma is black pepper often complemented by a very pleasing mouthful of blackberry, prune and figs.
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