Syrah

Northern Rhône Valley Syrah has firm tannins, good acidity and vibrant dark fruit. It is at its most smoky and floral in Côte-Rôtie (Jamet, Champet), aristocratic in Hermitage (Chave, Sorrel) and wild in Cornas (Allemand, Clape). But while such appellations increase in cost, more modestly priced wines can be found in St Joseph (Gonon, Dard & Ribo) and Crozes-Hermitage (Graillot). Many domaines ferment Syrah ‘whole bunch’, including the stems, resulting in wines that are sometimes less accessible initially, but become more aromatically complex with age; others remove all but the grapes, for an easy, fruit-forward style. Syrah’s signatures include blackberries, black pepper, violets, graphite and game. It is widely grown in Australia where it is known as Shiraz.