Syrah - Red Wine Grape

Syrah, Australia's signature grape that they call Shiraz...

Syrah is thought to have originated in the northern part of the Rhône Valley of eastern France, where it has been known since the Twelfth Century. Today it is the only red grape planted in the northern Rhône Valley. It is also grown in Argentina, South Africa and California, and is the signature red grape of Australia where it is known as Shiraz.

Classic Image of Syrah (Petite Chiraz) Grapes Petite Chiraz image first published in Victor Rendu, Ampelographie francaise, comprenant la statistique, la description des meilleurs cepages, l'analyse chimique du sol et les procedes de culture et de vinification des principaux vignobles de la France. [2nd ed.]Paris: Masson, 1857.

Illustration courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, Wine Literature of the World website.

Syrah is a major component of the famous Rhône Valley wines of Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Its bouquet usually includes white or black pepper, mulberries and blackcurrants, perhaps with a touch of tar. The taste also includes tannin and oak as well as those aromas. Syrah ages well. Its richness, acidity, and fruitiness vary considerably according to the climate and the winemaker’s art. Over the years many Australian winemakers have moved to a lighter-style Syrah wine. Syrah is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Mourvèdre and Grenache . It can produce a sparkling red wine and fortified wines that resemble port.

Syrah goes well with Pizza, Pasta, Game, Duck and grilled and roasted red meats in general. Suggestions for Australian Shiraz include Barbecued Beef Ribs, Couscous, Hamburger, Roast Duck and Turkey, and Steak.

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