(V) Intense spicy aromas of pepper, vanilla,liquorice and red fruit. Full-bodied with lots of plummy fruiton the palate.
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A potential rival for the crown of ‘world‘s greatest black grape‘, Syrah has emerged relatively recently as one of the most-planted grape varieties worldwide. The two ‘classic‘ regions in which it thrives are the Northern Rhône valley, where it makes fabulous, dense, spicy wines which age majestically for decades, and Australia, to which it was introduced in 1832 by the settler James Busby and goes by the name Shiraz. The two different names usually denote two very different styles. Shiraz has come to be used for richer, blacker wines with more ripe fruit flavour on the mid-palate, while Syrah tends to be used for structure-driven wines with more restrained flavours of black pepper and spice with characteristic black fruit. The grape is thick-skinned and prefers warmer climates, although its flavours tend to degenerate jammily if subjected to too much heat. Excellent examples in the Syrah style can be found in the Languedoc-Roussillon, the Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand and now some cooler parts of Australia; in its Shiraz guise Australia is still the heartland, but is also cultivated in South Africa and California.