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Laurent Miquel Nord Sud Syrah 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    This Syrah is full bodied and distinctive with mature fruit and spice that is so characteristic of our Syrah. Complex layers of black cherry, pepper and spice pair with rounded tannins to make a very complete and satisfying wine. Enjoy with roast beef or lamb, game dishes or mature cheese.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Laurent Miquel

    Laurent Miquel

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    Laurent Miquel, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
    2008 Nord Sud Syrah
    Laurent and his team strive daily to achieve an upward spiral of quality on all wines. Their focus is concentrated at the beginning of the winemaking cycle i.e. on the vines themselves. Although Languedoc has achieved enormous quality advances, particularly over the last fifteen to twenty years, Laurent believes that the possibilities for further improvement lie firmly in the area of vineyard management.

    The use of Culture Raisonée (this term was recently described by Jancis Robinson as 'verging on organic viticulture') is applied to vine growing in all Laurent's estates. Laurent also believes strongly in the benefits of intervention by local and international specialists in areas such as irrigation, soil analysis and canopy management.

    Laurent does not believe in heavy intervention by the winemaker. Noble grapes from low yielding vines on the appropriate terroir should require minimal intervention to produce a fine wine. While Laurent believes strongly that quality oak selection and the use of appropriate modern and traditional winemaking techniques can add an element of consistency and character, ultimately a truly fine wine is the result of a year long intervention at the vineyard.


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    An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality, value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Provence. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.

    Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc. International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.


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    Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

    In the Glass

    At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

    CAR33257_2008 Item# 113659