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Grape Varieties - Syrah

Syrah

Syrah - or Shiraz - is a French dark-skinned red grape variety. Despite numerous legends about Syrah's origins, DNA profiling has now found that this grape is the offspring of two obscure southern French varieties:  Mondeuse Blanche and Dureza. It is therefore now accepted as fact that Syrah's origins lie in the northern Rhône Valley.

Whether this is the same grape that produced the wine so enjoyed by Pliny the Elder in the first century AD is uknown. He was certainly drinking wine made from a dark-skinned grape from the northern Rhône at that time.

The father of the Australian wine industry - Scotsman James Busby - took Syrah (he called it both Scyras and Ciras) to that country in the mid-19th century and it is now thought that Australia can boast the oldest Syrah vineyards in the world.


 

Signature Style

Signature Style

The wine is generally deeply coloured and, when young, can have a character not dissimilar to Cabernet Sauvignon: pure blackcurrant fruit; firm tannic backbone. As it matures, it can take on particular aromas and flavours of pepper (black or white), rubber and smoke.
 

Famous Examples

Famous Examples

Hermitage; Crozes-Hermitage; Côte-Rôtie; various examples from the Barossa Valley in South Australia, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales and the Cape in South Africa.

Principle Regions

Principle Regions

Northern Rhône Valley; various sites around the New World

Synonyms

Synonyms

Antourenein Noir, Balsamina, Candive, Entournerein, Hignin Noir, Marsanne Noir, Schiras, Sirac, Syra, Syrac, Serine, Sereine.

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