Syrah, or Shiraz as the Aussies say, is defined by its bright fruit flavours, spice and elegant texture. It's also often renowned for having a fair bit of grunt and many fall into the Powerful Reds category - particularly ones the from Aussie. These often have tobacco and peppercorn flavours as well as deep, brooding fruit flavours bringing the oomph. Read Joelle's Top Ten Tips Below!
1. Syrah is the third most popular red grape in New Zealand with 435 hectares
2. It has nearly doubled in the past decade from 293 hectares in 2009
3. It is still relatively minor compared to Pinot Noir with its 5,653 hectares and Merlot (second most popular red) with 1,186 hectares
4. Syrah originally comes from the Rhone Valley in France
5. It’s the star red grape in northern Rhone red wines
6. It’s one of the key red grapes in Cotes du Rhones and southern French reds, along with Grenache and Mourvedre
7. Syrah is also known as Shiraz – same grape, different name and style of wine
8. It’s the most popular and important grape overall in Australia
9. It’s often described as peppery
10. It is usually given oak fermentation and maturation and can age positively for decades.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!