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Shiraz wine is one of the most interesting types of wine on the market. It can be a little confusing, as you may have heard of this wine by another name, Syrah wine.
Shiraz and Syrah are the same wine. The difference is the climate in which the grapes were grown in makes an entirely different style of wine.
Syrah originally comes from the Rhone Valley in France, where it is blended with Grenache to make full-bodied, dry wine.
When Syrah is grown in warmer climates, like in Australia and South Africa, the wine becomes fruitier.
How did Shiraz become so popular?
For more than a century, Cabernet Sauvignon had been the most important type of wine in the world. Bordeaux outshined the Rhone Valley, to the point that Rhone wine was not even exported.
When Australian wine makers began make Port wine, they used Syrah grapes as these produced grapes that made high quality fortified wine.
It wasn't until the 1990's when Bordeaux prices began to rise and also had a series of bad seasons, that wine drinkers became interested in Syrah wine. This is how Australia became so famous for Shiraz wine, and how so many people find Shiraz to be their favorite type of wine.
Where is Shiraz and Syrah wine made?
Syrah and Shiraz wine are made in every wine growing region in the world. Some of course are more famous than others as they have been producing high quality Syrah wine for a longer period of time. Regions other than the Rhone Valley, Australia and South Africa you may wish to explore include:
- Napa Valley
- Washington State
- New Zealand
I will go through all these regions, give you some wine makers you should try, pairing suggestions and tasting notes.
Why is it called Shiraz in some areas and Syrah wine in others? This goes back to the history of the grape. It is believed that the grape may have come from two different areas: either from the city of Shiraz in Persia or from Syracuse in Sicily, two areas where it may have been named after.
There are only two areas in the world that call it Shiraz wine: Australia and South Africa. The rest call it Syrah wine.
French Syrah Wine
Syrah wine is made primarily in northern and southern Rhone. The Syrah wine made in these two regions varies greatly, northern Rhone Syrah is fully bodied, while southern Rhone is fruitier (it's warmer in southern Rhone).
Rhone wine uses Syrah as a mixing grape. The primary grape used is Grenache. Some examples of Syrah wine you should try include: Chapoutier, Guigal and Jaboulet.
Each of these famous Rhone wine makers offers you several different Syrah wines from different parts of this French wine region.
The Chapoutier Hermitage Rhone wine is dark red-purple and has aromas of wild berries and spices. This is a full-bodied wine with flavors of wild berries and soft tannins. Enjoy this wine for up to 15 - 20 years.
The Cotes du Rhone wine is bright red and features aromas of cherries and spices. The flavors are the same as the aromas and include tannins.
The Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage Petit Ruche is bright purple red and has aromas and flavors of berries. This light and fruity wine can be aged for up to four years.
Guigal's Rhone wine from Gigondas is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. It is dark red and has a full-bodied flavor packed with berries and spices. Serve this wine with a hearty meal, such as game meat or a roast. This wine can be aged for up to ten years.
The Cotes du Rhone wine is dark red with aromas of berries and spices. It is full-bodied with flavors of fruit and smooth tannins.
The St. Joseph Rhone wine is a dark red and purple. It has aromas of berries and oak and full-bodied flavors of fruit, spices and strong tannins. This wine can be aged for ten to 15 years. Enjoy this robust wine with a hearty meal.
The Paul Jaboule Aine Crozes Hermitage has aromas of spices and fruit and flavors of wild berries and soft tannins.
The Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rhone wine is made of Grenache and Syrah and has aromas and flavors of fruit and spices.
Australian Shiraz Wine
The most famous Australian Shiraz is by Yellow Tail. This wine company single handedly put Australia on the wine making map. Enjoy Yellow Tail Shiraz and their other wines here.
There are many examples of Australian Shiraz. Every Australian wine maker makes at least one version of this wine, some, like Barossa Valley Estate and Mollydooker, even make Sparkling Shiraz.
d'Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz wine is made in McLaren Vale. It has aromas of wild berries and spices. This is a medium-bodied wine with smooth flavors that feature berry, oak and spice flavors. You can enjoy this wine for up to ten years.
The d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz has aromas of wild forest berries and spices. The flavors are bold fruit, spice and fine tannins. This is a great wine with grilled meat and vegetables.
d'Arenberg The Love Grass Shiraz has aromas of ripe fruit and spices. The flavors are of fruit and berries, spices and smooth tannins. This wine can be enjoyed now and for up to ten years.
Kilicanoon Killerman's Run Shiraz wine has a bright red color, aromas of spices and fruit and flavors of the same.
Shoofly Shiraz has a spicy, fruity aroma and flavor. This is a delicious, well-balanced fruity wine. You can enjoy this wine from now and for up to ten years.
The Razor's Edge Shiraz wine is dark purple-red. It has delicious fruity flavors and is balanced nicely with spices and tannins.
South Africa Shiraz wine
De Morgenson DMZ Shiraz wine has lots aromas and flavor of fruit, spices, oak and tannins.
The Indaba Shiraz is a very fruity, spicy, full-bodied wine. It pairs will with grilled meat.
The Guardian Peak Shiraz is bright red in the glass. It has aromas of fruit and flavors of berries, oak and spices.
Napa Valley Syrah wine
Lagier Meredith Syrah is grown in the Mt. Veeder section of Napa. It is a deep red-purple with aromas of herbs, flowers and fruit. It is a full-bodied wine with similar flavors. Enjoy this wine for up to ten years.
The Eponymous Syrah is dark red-purple with aromas of spices and herbs. This is a full-bodied, big wine that will taste delicious with grilled meat. Enjoy this wine now or within the next four years.
La Sirena Syrah has flavors and aromas of ripe berries and spices. La Sirena produces a few varieties of Syrah, including some single-vineyard offerings, like the Syrah from Barrett Vineyard.
Washington Syrah wine
The Hogue Genesis Syrah is made in Columbia Valley. This is a dark red wine with fruity aromas and flavors, with very little tannins.
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah has aromas of flowers and flavors of fruit.
The DeLille Doyenne Syrah is made in Yakima Valley in Washington. It has aromas and flavors of fruits and berries, flowers and spices. Enjoy this wine for up to ten years.
Argentina Syrah Wine
The Luca Syrah Laborde Double Select is a dark purple with aromas of herbs and spices. The flavors are well balanced between tannins and ripe fruit and spices. Enjoy this wine with grilled meats or a roast.
Spanish Syrah wine
The Finca Sandoval Syrah is called Salia and is made in Manchuela. It is a blend of Syrah and Garnacha. This is a deep, dark red wine with spicy, fruity aromas and flavors. This full-bodied wine can be enjoyed for another 10 years.
Italian Syrah wine
The Fontodi Syrah is from Tuscany. This Syrah wine has aromas of berries and spices and very full-bodied flavors of the same, plus smooth tannins. This is a big, bold wine that can be enjoyed for up to 20 years.
No matter how you name it, Shiraz wine is delicious. I hope you find several that you really enjoy in this list.