Syrah (Shiraz) Grapes Wine

Syrah (Shiraz) Grapes Wine

The Hill of Hermitage and vineyards steeply overlooking the Rhône provide the home of Syrah and one of the most famous place names associated with this great grape variety. Hermitage, Cornas and Côte Rôtie are full-bodied red wines, while Crozes Hermitage and St Joseph are generally a touch lighter. Syrah is a hardy grape, growing well in pour soil, such as the granite-based hills and slopes of the Northern Rhône, and able to adapt to a number of climates.

In their infancy, Syrah-based wines smell of blackberry and ground pepper, sometimes mixed with aromas of smoke and toasty oak. In the Northern Rhône, Syrah is the only permitted black grape, while in the south it is used as a blending material and can be just one of several grape varieties making up the final Cuvée. Grenache is more widely grown and used in the south.

Often requiring time to develop, due to the tannic nature of young Syrah, the wines often soften with age, taking on smoky, leathery characteristics. In Australia, a range of styles exist, from light to medium-bodied fruity reds, to the massively fruity, rich, powerhouse wines of the Barossa Valley. Australian Shiraz, which has captured the imagination of wine lovers throughout the world, ranges from the moderate to very expensive, such as Penfold's legendary Grange.

The grape is known as Syrah in the French growing areas of the Rhône and the south of the country but as Shiraz in its other locations: Australia, Tuscany in Italy, South Africa, and California.

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