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Wine Park

Supreme Syrah

Toast Syrah’s big day by tasting through its flagship styles that dot the French realm and the vivacious new world.
Syrah is a stand out fruit for many a compelling reason. The French noble grape is an international traveller, planted in every country that vinifies grape. It’s bevy of styles perennially intrigue, stun and divide the wine experts and oenophiles. It is also the only grape that holds the unique distinction of having a second name, Shiraz, coined in Australia where arguably, its finest new world expression is produced. The thick skinned and hardy red grape and solidly illustrated its capacity of produce distinct styles in the cool climes of northern Rhone where it originated and sunned up new world regions of Australia’s Barossa Valley and Stellenbosch on South Africa’s Western Cape. In the Northern Rhone where the Syrah carpets the vineyards and is produced as a single varietal across prestigious appellations, notably Cote Rotie and Crozes Hermitage, the grape makes wines of intense fruit with hallmark pepper tones and veneer of elegance.
Almost, a world away in at the brink of the southern hemisphere in Barossa Valley’s warm and hardy terroir, Aussie winemakers make a bold and generous iteration they prefer to call Shiraz, brimming with ripe fruit and alcohol levels pushing the upper limit. South Africa, to continual fascination straddles a rarefied space between the old and new world, making and calling the grape both Syrah and Shiraz, depending on the given wine estate’s philosophy which is a fine tribute to Stellenbosch for its capacity to yield old world expression sat alongside new world turns of the versatile red grape. the afore briefing doesn’t do enough justice to the evolving story of Syrah but is intended to pique the appetite to explore and taste its vast catalogue on French appellations and new world styles. We ourselves have curated a stellar collection of them from the marquee regions. Come take a pour of Syrah with the world on International Syrah day, come February 16. Cheers!
Saint Cosme, Côte-Rôtie 2018
Even before the wine commandeers your senses, the surreal sight of steep terraced vineyards of Côte Rôtie will. French for roasted slope, Côte Rôtie is acclaimed for making a Syrah potent with rich black fruit, tempered by pepper and chocolate with the smoothest of tannins that linger long after the bottle’s gone. The depth of palate can be chalked down to the granite laden slopes that take in dollops of sunshine that properly ripen the fruit while retaining acidity. The Saint Cosme, Côte-Rôtie 2018 scores a flattering 4.3 on Vivino for many good reasons. The full bodied red puts forward perfectly ripe fruit and alluring floral notes, complimented any an aged savoury character and touch of smoke. This gourmet wine the near perfect Syrah that solidifies Rhone Valley credentials as simply the best region to make this ferment.
Saint Cosme, Crozes Hermitage 2020
Our highly rated Northern Rhone expression is handpicked from the stable of Chateau Saint Cosme, run lovingly by the Barruol family since 1570. Present owner and winemaker Louis Barruol has spent a lifetime understanding and coaxing brilliance out of every key Rhone appellation and in the Crozes Hermitage, he has produced a wine that ‘encapsulates the gentle, soft feel of the fruit wrapped in an intense garnet- red cloak.’ Crozes Hermitage lords over Northern Rhone as its biggest appellation with 1650 hectares of vineyard rooted in granite and clay soils that helpfully absorb water and keep the vines cool, giving the fruit enough time to attain the balance that Crozes Hermitage Syrah, the phenomenon it is.
Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2020

The Aussies didn’t start off, trying to make a certain red wine grape, their most ambitious vinous pursuit that involved fashioning a groundbreaking new world style and rechristening the fruit as Shiraz. It just turned out that way and no one’s grumpy about it, save a few vignerons in the Rhone. Australia owns the Shiraz, not just with regard to naming rights but also a bold, ripe style that doesn’t apologise for muscular tannins and pushes the alcohol level to the limit. And it all comes together in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Shiraz is Barossa and vice versa. This region has single handedly since its beginnings in the mid 19 century evolved a big bold style with a stunning balance that holds the elements together. Red and black clay soils that carpet the vast region soak in ample sun that ripens the fruit while the contrastingly cool nights give the vines crucial pause.

Soils of black and red clays with siliceous sands enable the vines to nurture fruit of sublime balance and concentration. And that’s what happens on the prized vineyard parcels of the Two Hands Wines estate in Marananga where the Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2020 gets made. The wine is an ode to the cult 1998 dark comedy The Big Lebowski and the tough old vines that sit on the clay soils. This classic Barossa Shiraz abounds with rich flavours of raspberry and plum, mingling with black pepper, leading to fleshy tannins and impressive length. This dude nails the Aussie Shiraz style.

Thelema, Shiraz 2017
South Africa take a unique stand on Syrah, dispensing with the binary of old or new world and instead straddles the fine line between both, marrying a traditional approach with modern oenological innovation, putting forth a style it calls its own. And nowhere does this style shine brighter than the Western Cape star region of Stellenbosch. The word Syrah and Shiraz are dropped frequently and often times interchangeably on Stellenbosch’s wine farms. The region is banked by Eerste River, east of Cape Town where a Mediterranean style climate – warm afternoon and nights cooled by oceanic winds – coupled with soils, similar in content to the Northern Rhone ( granite and clay) produce fruit of exemplary ripeness and good acidity. Our superb Stellenbosch red, the Thelema, Shiraz 2017 is a fine exemplar of the region’s distinct style. Thelema Mountain Vineyards’s owner cum winemaker Gyles Webb has vinified a sumptuous wine containing fruit from elevated vineyard, expressing rich notes of blackberry, plum and vanilla, laced with spice and cocoa, capped with splendid tannic length. Hardly surprising then that Thelema’s wines have twice found mention in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of the world and no doubt be back on that list soon enough.