Have a Few Questions About Syrah?

Serving Syrah this Thanksgiving?
I love the dark berry and peppery aromas of Syrah, and include it in two of my wines.* I like it at Thanksgiving because its rich, fruity and spicy aromas pair well with turkey and stuffing made with sausage.

Why use Syrah in a blend? What does it add?
Syrah is dense, and it adds body, structure and flavor to a blend. There’s a French term for this: cépage ameliateur. While it is a minor part of the Bouké Red Wine blend, it adds just the right amount of richness.

What’s the difference between Syrah and Shiraz?
The French call is Syrah. Australians call it Shiraz.

Where is it grown?
All over: Australia, California, Chile, Languedoc, New York, New Zealand, Northern Rhône, Provence, Sicily, South Africa, Southern Rhône, Spain, Switzerland, Washington.

Which famous wines are made with Syrah?
Rhône: Hermitage, Côte-Rotie, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Australia: Barossa, Coonawarra, Hunter Valley

What’s the difference in taste between Syrah grown in different counties?
Syrah is full-bodied, with aromas of cassis, black cherry, blackberry, tar and tobacco. In warm climates, it is rich and fruity, with relatively high alcohol and very ripe berry and chocolate flavors. In cool climates, the pepper and spice aromas are more prominent. Côte Rôtie, for example, has aromas of black fruits, spice, smoke, bacon, leather and oak, with a long finish and more reserved and elegant style than an Australian Shiraz. Australian Shiraz tends to have aromas of jammy fruit, black cherries, ripe plums, spice, chocolate, leather, and pronounced sweet tannins, in a more powerful and fruitier style than the French Syrah.

Is Syrah usually blended, or vinified as a single varietal?
In the Northern Rhône: Côte Rotie: Viognier, a white grape varietal may added to Syrah to soften the wine’s tannins, enhance the wine’s aroma and add complexity. Hermitage: Marsanne and Roussanne, white grape varietals, may be added. In the Southern Rhône: Grenache, Mourvèdre and sometimes Cinsault, all red grape varietals, are blended with Syrah. Châteauneuf-du-Pape may be made with up to 13 different grape varietals, usually anchored by SGMC. In Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Syrah.

With what should you serve it?
Dry Syrah wines: turkey, chicken, spicy sausage, lamb, steak, mushrooms, pizza, pasta with meat sauce, Roquefort, Cheddar
Sweet Syrah wines: Chocolate

*Bouké Red Wine is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and is a dry wine. Bouquet Red Dessert Wine is a blend of Syrah and Pinot Noir, and is a vin doux naturel.

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