Wino 101: Syrah/Shiraz
POSTED ON 3/31/2006 | PERMALINK |0 Comments | BOOKMARK

Shiraz or Syrah is a variety of grape used in wine. The names are interchangeable. It is called Syrah in France and most often in the USA. In South Africa, Australia, and Canada it is most commonly known as Shiraz. In Australia it used to be called Hermitage up to the late 1980s.

Wines made from Shiraz are often quite powerfully flavoured and full-bodied. The variety produces wines with a wide range of flavor notes, depending on the climate and soils where it is grown, as well as other viticultural practices chosen. Aroma characters can range from violets to berries, chocolate, espresso and black pepper. No one aroma can be called "typical" though blackberry and pepper are often noticed. With time in the bottle these "primary" notes are moderated and then supplemented with earthy or savory "tertiary" notes such as leather and truffle. ("Secondary" flavor and aroma notes are those associated with winemakers' practices, such as oak barrel and yeast regimes, and are not typically associated with specific grape varieties.)
Wine Enthusiast Rating: 93

This is the fifth vintage of our St. Joseph-like Syrah. It is made from fruit grown at a superb vineyard site that is planted in the hills just west of the Amador County line, just a few miles from the Mokelumne River (hence the California appellation). We find the wine is very forward and drinkable shortly after bottling, making it a great everyday Syrah and perfect as a restaurant glass pour. This 2002 vintage is exceedingly dark in color with rich, silky wild raspberry fruit flavors laced with pepper, tar, and herb tones. Aromas are raspberry, smoky, wild gamey, peppery, and cinnamon.

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