The birthplace of Syrah is still unknown, but its modern viticultural home is unquestionably the northern Rhone Valley.
Cultivated in Chile, Argentina, USA, South Africa etc… this thick-skinned varietal has late-budding qualities, and is a mid-season ripener.
With a deep color and typically high tannins, Syrah is used primarily for producing strong red wines and is commonly used to add structure and color to Grenache in southern Rhône blends, including Côtes-du-Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
As one of the world’s most diverse and successful grape varieties, Syrah displays a wide range of flavours from floral, dark-fruit flavors, and develops more peppery and herbaceous notes as it ages (mint, black pepper, licorice notes).
Hence, with aromas leaning on the spicier side, rather than fruity Syrah wines pair incredibly with heavy, ethnic foods.
The wines that are made from Syrah vary greatly, even over small changes in the vines locations. The differences in the soil quality as well as the changes in the slope of the terrain tend to produce different styles of wine. Ranging from the mineral and tannic nature of Hermitage, to fruity and perfumed in the case of Côte-Rôtie.
In many regions the acidity and tannin levels of Syrah allows the wines produced from the grape to have favorable aging potential.