The Secrets to Syrah Wine
In a world where bigger is better, Syrah is the ideal choice.
It’s darker than Cabernet Sauvignon and contains high amounts of health-invigorating antioxidants. Discover the details of Syrah wine in this guide and learn the differences between New World and Old-World Syrah.
Guide to Syrah Wine
Syrah Wine Profile
FRUIT: Blackberry, Blueberry and Boysenberry (tart to jammy) OTHER: Olive, pepper, clove, vanilla, mint, licorice, chocolate, allspice, rosemary, cured meat, bacon fat, tobacco, herbs and smoke OAK: Yes. Usually medium to high usage of oak aging (of all kinds). TANNIN: Medium (+) ACIDITY: Medium (+) AGEABILITY: Yes. 5-9 years (most) & 12-25 years (age-worthy examples) COMMON SYNONYMS & REGIONAL NAMES: Shiraz, Sirac, Marsanne Noir, Entournerein, Serène, Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas, Côte-Rôtie, St. Joseph
Syrah Wine Regions
~460,000 acres worldwide (186,000 hectares)
France (169,000 acres) Côtes du Rhône: Cornas, Hermitage, St. Joseph, Côte-Rôtie
Australia (105,000 acres) Barossa, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast
Spain (49,000 acres) Priorat, Montsant, Toro, Yecla
Argentina (32,000 acres) Mendoza, Salta
South Africa (25,000 acres) Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek
United States (23,000 acres) Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Napa, Sonoma, Columbia Valley (WA)
Italy (17,000 acres) Tuscany, Sicily
Chile (15,000 acres) Colchagua Valley, Maipo Valley
The Taste of Syrah Wine
Syrah is responsible for some of the darkest full-bodied red wines in the world. It has dark fruit flavors from sweet blueberry to savory black olive.
When you taste Syrah you’ll be greeted with a punch of flavor that tapers off and then has a spicy peppery note in the aftertaste. Because of its front-loaded style, Syrah is often blended with grapes that add more mid-palate, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, to help make the wine taste more complete.
Traditionally in France, Syrah is blended with light-bodied Grenache and even richer Mourvedre to create the classic Côtes du Rhône blend.
New World vs Old World Syrah
New World Syrah regions include Australia, Chile, Argentina, and the United States.
Old World Syrah regions include France, Italy, Spain, and Greece.
New World vs. Old World
Old World Syrahs from Italy and France tend to have more acidity and earthy-herbaceous aromas. New World-styled Syrah wines from Australia, The U.S. and South America usually have more fruit-driven characteristics with lots of spice. Visualize the common taste of Syrah wines depending on from what part of the world they originate.
7 Fascinating Facts About Syrah
Some of the most expensive Syrah in the world is from the 340+ acre appellation called Hermitage. The best wines are sourced from a hill close to the village of Tain-l’Hermitage and are noted for their floral and smoky aromas of blackberry and grilled meat.
The word Syrah may hail from “Syracruse” –a city in Sicily. Syracruse was a powerful city during the ancient Greek rule in 400 BC.
Before appellation control in France, the Bordelais blended Syrahinto their red wines to make them richer. Today, you can commonly find Cabernet-Syrah blends in both Australia and the United States.
Two very obscure grapes are the parents of Syrah: Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. Dureza is from Southern France, just North of Nimes in the Ardèche department. Mondeuse Blanche can be found in Savoy.
Petite Sirah does not mean ‘little Syrah.’ Petite Sirah (aka Durif) is a different grape variety and is the genetic offspring of Syrah and the more rare Peloursin.
Wine growers often say “Syrah likes a view” because the best vineyards are usually towards the top of hills where there is less soil, making the vines produce less (but more concentrated) grapes.
Because Syrah wines have such thick skins and high tannin, it is a common practice for winemakers to cold soak Syrah grapes for days (or even weeks!). Cold soaking (aka extended maceration) increases color and fruitiness in a wine while also reducing harsh tannin and herbaceous flavors.
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Reference : https://winefolly.com/review/the-secrets-to-syrah-wine/