Syrah [Shiraz]

Syrah or, as it’s commonly known in Australia and occasionally California, shiraz, is perfectly capable of standing on it’s own, displaying firm tannins and full body.  The aroma’s and flavors that come from syrah frequently include berries, smoke, black pepper, and roasted meat.  Syrah is a big, bold wine, and is known for big bold flavors on the palate.  Despite this, syrah is not like many the other large, bold red wines, and is still very accessible when compared to nebbiolo or an overly young cabernet sauvignon.

While Syrah was originally known for being a robust, beautiful, intense wine from the Northern Rhône, it’s growth in California and Australia have lead to lighter more charming and medium body styles.  While California and Australia have created there own interesting unique style of syrah, there are still plenty of great examples of classic syrah styles coming from both.  California’s best examples have come from a group known as the Rhône Rangers, a group of mavericks that lead to it’s breakout in the 1980’s.  Meanwhile, in Australia, shiraz accounts for more than 25% of plantings.

Color: Red
Style: Dry, aged in oak. Rarely, sweet and sparkling.
Notable Growing Locations: Australia (known as Shiraz), California, Chile, France: Languedoc-Roussillon / Northern Rhône, South Africa