Syrah (or Shiraz, the name given to it in the New World regions such as Australia) is one of the most popular red varieties in the world. Among its particularities, it stands out for its easy adaptability to different types of climates. That is why it is grown throughout the world but depending on where it comes from, will deliver different styles of wines. Thanks to its versatility, it is commonly combined with other grapes to make blends (to which it brings a lot of colour). But, above all, it produces high-quality and elegant wines that can age in the bottle for decades.
When talking about Syrah it is impossible not to mention France, specifically the northern area of the Rhone Valley. Some of the most famous Syrah come from the appellations of Cote-Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas and Saint-Joseph, cold climate regions that produce wines very different from the rest of the world in terms of style.
The Syrah itself is characterized by giving full-bodied and aromatic wines, with notes of blackberry, blueberries, spices such as black pepper and smoke. Usually, they are rounded and fruity, or dense and tannic. When Syrah comes from cold weather, they are driven by its acidity, featuring earthy tones and herbal aromas. Whereas when it comes from hot climates, tend to be fruit-forward, almost jammy, sometimes with meaty notes such as bacon. They feel slightly sweet, without astringency and with a great alcoholic power. From San Javier, in the Maule Valley in Chile, is Gran Reserva Serie Riberas 2019, a warm climate Syrah that has aromas of violets along with berries, sweet spices, elegant palate, great structure and a complex finish. Perfect to drink on cold days or if you prefer, to keep it even until 2029. Thanks to its tannins and oak aging, this wine has excellent aging potential.
Do you need any more reasons to try this lovely wine variety? Well, February 16th is Syrah Day, the perfect excuse to celebrate it and why not, take advantage of bringing it to the table. Due to its strength in character, Syrah complement meats particularly well. But its better if you consider its style. If it is from cold climate, it will have brighter acidity, moderate tannins and smoky notes, ideal to pair with duck, pasta with a rich meat ragu, or stews with mushrooms. While a warm climate one will be deep, bold and alcoholic, perfect to complement greasier cuts of meat on the bbq or grilled. Another excellent Syrah to try is Marques de Casa Concha Syrah 2018. First it attracts for its dark and deep color, then offers flavours of blackberries and cherries, and towards the end a rich smoky note. With a firm texture, fine-grained tannins, it is a gastronomic wine wherever you look at it.
Don’t forget to serve your Syrah slightly chilled. Given its alcohol strength, by doing this your wine will express its aromas better feeling vibrant instead of boring.