15 Jul #WineWednesday Syrah and Shiraz
#WineWednesday Syrah and Shiraz
Syrah is a noble grape variety which produces wine with robust spiciness, deep colour and dense, smoky, fruit characteristics. In the Northern Rhône Valley, in southeastern France, two grape varieties, namely Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche, were crossed, to produce Syrah. South Africans know this variety as Shiraz and the temperate climate, specifically the warm wine region of Paarl, is ideal for growing this grape. South African Shiraz is fruit-driven, spicy and often referred to as jammy. A short time on oak can give these wines great structure and ageability. It is currently the fourth most-planted cultivar in South Africa and is often used in blends or to make Rosé and Blanc de Noir.
Syrah is the flagship grape of France’s Rhône Valley, where it makes smoky, powerful reds with hints of black pepper. It has also become the signature grape of Australia, where it’s also called Shiraz, and typically produces fruitier, less tannic wines marked by sweet blackberry flavours.
It is associated with many of the notable and classic wines that hail from Rhône, such as Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie. In southern Rhône it is used as a blending grape in wines such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône, where Grenache usually makes up the majority of the blend. These wines are known as GSM or Grenache, Syrah Mourvedre.
Australian producers in the Barossa Valley have placed Shiraz on their map with some larger-than-life, exceptional red wines that burst with concentrated fruitiness, such as Penfolds Grange and Wolf Blass Wines.
Read more about Backsberg’s Pumphouse Shiraz.