Shiraz / Syrah
Syrah is also known as Shiraz. It is the same grape and is the backbone of many a blend from the Rhone in France and has also been a standout flagship variety in Australia for many decades ( it’s been planted there since 1831). If you’ve ever heard of or consumed Hermitage, Cote Rotie it dominates the blend. If you’ve had Chateauneuf du Pape, Cotes du Rhone it’s an important partner along with Grenache. One of the truly great grape varieties of the world – it can be a little bit confusing when it comes to labelling. Generally speaking, wines labelled Syrah are closer in style to the classic northern rhone reds (smokey and elegant with high tannin) and those labelled shiraz are generally more associated with Australian styles (peppery, fruity, robust and high alcohol). Mind you – this isn’t always the case so don’t take it as a given. There’s only one rule, try lots and get to know which style you prefer.