Here are a few quick facts about Syrah Shiraz:
What's in a name?
Pronounced Si-rar or She-raz (rhymes with 'Jazz') both of these wines come from the exact same grape grown in completely different
Recent DNA tests pinpointed the birth of the grape to around 2000 years ago in the Rhône Valley, France where they make Syrah and it's a relatively lean, complex (spice, cherry, tar, smoke, cassis, plum, etc), earthy, lively (more acidity) wine, typically capable of short to long term bottle ageing that they shared with the 'Old World'.
That exact same vinestock was taken to Australia and the 'New World' where they called it Shiraz before sharing it with the rest of the New World vintners.
It produces rich, ripe, full-bodied wines with intense fruit flavours (plum, blackberry, cherry), as well as hints of black spice.
They can also have a higher alcohol content due to longer ripening on the vine before picking and are able to age many years due to the high tannins.
To further complicate things, winemakers in regions with diverse climate and soil types (terroir) have recently begun naming their wines by the expression
of flavour rather than some stodgy Old World/New World categorisation.
Simply put, if it says Syrah on the bottle it probably tastes like Syrah no matter where it's from.
If it says Shiraz, maybe the tasting notes deserve a look before you buy.
Better yet, why not come and try some for yourself at the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show presented by the Independent On Saturday?
WINEderland is waiting from 3 to 5 May at the Suncoast Casino and tickets can be bought online at Quicket.