Powerful, vivid Syrah – alias Shiraz – is one of the world’s most popular, widely-planted and exceptional red grape varieties. Something of a chameleon, deep-coloured, low-yielding Syrah is an expressive grape whose wines vary considerably depending on origin, preferring warmth and poor soils. Traditionally called Syrah in ‘old world’ wine regions (eg. France) and Shiraz in the ‘new world’(eg. Australia), today the choice of name often relates to style.
Syrah typically denotes more structured, spicy or savoury wines (like Hermitage from France’s northern Rhône wine region) as opposed to rich, fruitier styles (such as Australia’s ebullient Barossa Shiraz). Syrah’s dark charisma is often found blended with red grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mourvèdre, while in the northern Rhône it is softened and perfumed by white grape Viognier in Côte-Rôtie, a style much replicated worldwide.