The grape of the great wines of the Rhône - savoury yet supple, rich yet elegant – and exported to wonderful effect in the New World, where lush, spicy Aussie examples charm all comers. The perfect touch of spice.
Shiraz also known as Syrah is one of the most sought after grape variety. This dark-skinned grape is mainly utilised in producing great quality red wines. Its ample pulp makes the wine full-bodied. Its distinctive color, firm structure and tannins provide a balanced wine taste.
In 2004, this wine grape was ranked 7th most grown grape variety in the world accounting for 142,600 hectares of vineyards. The name Shiraz is mostly used by Australians, Canadians and South Africans. In other parts of the globe particularly in America, France, Chile, New Zealand, Uruguay and other European nations, they refer to the grape as Syrah. The grape is native to France. The DNA typing of this grape revealed that it is the offspring two grape varieties found in southeastern France. The grapes are Dureza, its father and the Mondeuse Blanche, its mother.
Shiraz is an approved varietal and is usually utilised as a blend for world-famous Hermitage wine. This wine is considered as the manliest of all wines in France due to its rich, acidic flavour. A variation of the Hermitage is the Red Hermitage which is made entirely of Syrah grapes. However, Syrah is also bottled as a stand alone wine not just used for blending. This wine provides the peppery, plum taste with overtones of roasted meat. At times, the tastes of licorice, mocha and bitter chocolate are also apparent. The temperature affects its flavour. If it is grown in warmer climates, the flavour of plum stands out. If grown in colder areas, spicy flavours are noted. The wine can be made sweet or dry.
Shiraz is beneficial if drunk right away. Aging for up to 5 years is also a good option but this depends on the amount of tannins which provide the astringent taste of the wine. The wine matches spicy foods. It goes well with beef and other rich meats. The desired serving temperature is 64 F.