Syrah is one of the world's best and least known quality grapes. It thrives best in warmer climates, producing wines with intense color and high tannin content.
Syrah is usually a wine for storage, but it can also be produced for early consumption, with emphasis on the grape's fruitiness.
Syrah wines are characterized by a berry-like fruitiness associated with blackberries and raspberries, as well as spice, often black pepper, smoke and camphor.
A well stored Syrah is pleasantly round and sweet with earthy and savory aromas, often accompanied by smoke, licorice and coffee. They are excellent for game dishes, heavy meat dishes and forest mushroom dishes.
Syrah thrives best in the French Rhone Valley and in Australia, but new plantings promise well elsewhere in France and in California.
The best French Syrah is located north in the French Rhône valley in areas such as Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage and Côtes du Rhône.
Crozes Hermitage is often the lightest and juiciest, and can be drunk young, but Hermitage and Côtes du Rhône are more powerful storage wines.
Austalian Syrah, or Shiraz as it is called "down under" can appear as anything from juicy, berry-tasting, soft wines, to powerful, tough and tannin-rich editions. Common to all of them is a lot of taste. The best ones develop sweet, rich fruits, as well as aromas characterized by smoke, spices, leather and soil as they mature.Thus, Syrah is a wine with a lot of taste, but good editions also have nice balance and elegant tones built into all its flavor power.