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[edit] Shiraz or Syrah

The term Syrah hails from the Rhone region in its home land France (through much controversy over the origin of the name), the term Shiraz is primarily designated to new world wines thought to have first been used in Australia.

This grape variety is derived from a cross between Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. The grape has a very dark skin and produces an equally dark red wine. The wine can be made as a single varietal or used in blending. Shiraz has a very high tannin count and produces a dry flavoursome and full bodied red wines.

Syrah or Shiraz wines are notoriously difficult wines to make well.(that is my opinion) "Resting on the lees" or leaving the grape juice or "must" is essential to making wine with these grapes, and all to often the wine produced will have a watery rim in the glass and a blank flat mouthfeel. A well made Shiraz is however a spectacular delight. The grape can be used in wines for early drinking... which makes it a versatile grape variety, but the magic of the Syrah comes forth best in wines that have seen a good harvest and an equally good ageing.

The grape is widely planted today in Australia, notably in the Barossa valley.