Syrah and Shiraz are made from the same type of dark skinned grape varietal, but based on the climate and region in which the grape is grown, you can expect to find very different characteristics in the wine.
They refer to style difference; from the area in which they are grown and the climatic influences in ripening, to winemaking style and vinification. In general, Shiraz and Syrah wines are bold, packed with flavour and full bodied in structure. There is a huge range in the flavour profile of Shiraz and Syrah wines.
DNA typing has traced the Syrah grape to an area in France called Rhone, this despite the fact that there were myths doing the rounds that the grape originally came from the city of Shiraz in Iraq.
Europe: The Old World
European countries that label their wines by varietal use the term Syrah. In France the wines are labelled by region not varietal, but the wines from regions such as H’ermitage are usually mostly Syrah.
Syrah is the great grape of the northern Rhône, responsible for the dense, burly, deep-coloured, long-lived, savoury and peppery wines of Hermitage, and the slightly more seductively perfumed (traditionally thanks to some co-fermented viognier in the blend) Côte-Rôtie.
Australia, South Africa: The New World
In Australia and South Africa, the term Shiraz is used almost exclusively. However there has been a growing trend in recent years to use Syrah for wines that are made in the Old World style, If the wine comes from Australia or South Africa, it will almost certainly be labeled Shiraz not Syrah. Wines from other countries labeled as Shiraz will be a new world style wine– fruit forward and peppery.
Deepening the Roots in South Africa
Although the grape arrived on South African shores in the second half of the 17th century, it only recently emerged as the Cape’s most exciting red grape according to Tim Atkin Master of Wine. With an upward trend in plantings throughout the Cape, Syrah is found in all of South Africa’s major growing regions. The more elegant wines come from cooler regions and higher altitudes – Elgin, Constantia, Cederberg, Malgas and Cape Agulhas.
Richer styles are produced in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek, Tulbagh and the Swartland. The latter is more Cornas-like, if you will. Although the right soils, thoughtful viticulture, earlier picking, whole- bunch fermentation and a gentle hand in the cellar (especially where oak and extraction are concerned) can result in surprisingly more refined and complex expressions from these warmer growing areas.
Syrah/ Shiraz is a dry medium to high tannin wine. It is medium to full-bodied.
The notable aromas and notes in this wine are blackberries, blueberries, violets, black pepper, leather and truffle.
This variety of grape is mostly found in France, Argentina, Australia, Spain and naturally South Africa
Pair this wine with a strong cheese, lamb, red meat, cured, smoked or barbequed meat.
We have some great recipes that would go perfectly with your newly ordered bottle of Syrah/ Shiraz. Try the lamb shank and quince pie or the rustic red onion and aubergine tartlets with mature cheddar pastry
Syrah/ Shiraz has become such a popular wine in South Africa that they have a dedicated awards ceremony especially for them. Take a gander at who is currently topping the charts in South African Shiraz.
Visit our site and select your favourite bottle to be delivered straight to your door. Named Winery of the year by the Platter Awards, Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines has produced a Syrah 2014 that you cannot miss. Also in our collection is the 2013 Eagles Nest Shiraz and the De Morgenzon Reserve Syrah 2014.