Oh that schizophrenic beauty: Are you an understated, earthy gem as in the Rhone or a buxom, blowsy, bodacious babe from down under in the Barossa Valley? Or is your very charm your pygmalion like ability to suit yourself to whatever the terroir needs?
Syrah /Shiraz is in fact the same grape, but adopts different monikers depending upon region and style, but they are very much the same grape.



This bad boy is prone to vigorous growth, with medium size tight bunched berries. It is late to bud, but erly to harvest and needs canopy management to maintain good quality and avoid the pitfall of overripening early. All of the above attributes means thatthe finished wine is oftenhigh alcohol. It thrives in shallow, rocky well drained soils, of either granite or schist


Syrahs can sometimes be made using Carbonic Maceration, yeah it's not Beaujolais that's weird to us to. 
WInemakers will often use warm fermentation to extract more flavors and color
Malolactic Fermentation
Oak aging: adds texture, richness, and toast
Old World producers use Old French Oak barrels
New World producers use new French or American oak barrels (or oak chips in the case of value wines) which lend vanilla spice
Micro-oxygenation: use of tiny amounts of Oxygen during fermentation to speed up softening of tannins.
especially in Australia

Old World New World

Northern Rhone: Mono-Varietal
Cote Rotie
Steep slopes with named vineyards
Two soil types: “brune” and “blonde” (clay and limestone)
Permissible blending with Viognier
Granite hill with named vineyards
St Joseph

Southern Rhone: Blends of GSM
Blended with Grenache & Mouvedre (among others!)

Mistral: Wind that blows from the North and Northeast, reaching speeds up to 90 km/hr
Allows grapes to retain acidity by cooling vines during growing season and keeping them dry and free of mold


California (Syrah)
Rhone Rangers: growers that believed California was better suited to Rhone than Bordelaise varietals
Santa Cruz
Santa Barbara


Australia (Shiraz)
Barossa Valley
McClaren Vale
Wide variety of styles but the common thread is big ripe fruit
S. Africa

 Common Descriptors

Color: Concentrated black-berry red with jumpy purple rim (can look like Cab sometimes, so always check tannins; as Shiraz tannins are always lower)
Aroma: Black currant, black berry, raspberries, violets, tobacco, tobacco leaf, carnations, leather, wood, smoke, rosemary, meatiness, (S. Rhone) vanilla spice from oak
Acidity: Medium
Alcohol: Medium to medium plus
Tannins: Medium plus
Flavors: Blackberry, raspberries, black pepper, dark chocolate, sweat, leather, black olives
“Le garrique” lavender, rosemary, thyme, - dried or fresh, herbs de provence