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Syrah / Shiraz

Learn about Syrah — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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Marked by an 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.

Tasting Notes for Syrah

Syrah is a dry, red wine that typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice 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 Food Pairings for Syrah

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 Secrets for Syrah

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.

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  • Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 1997 Front Label
    Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 1997
    Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
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    • Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 1997 Front Label
      Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 1997
      Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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      • RP91
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    • Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 1997
      Syrah/Shiraz from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      • WS95
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