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Syrah To Shiraz — Uncorking the best styles

There’s definitely one wine that brings the old and new world together in collective reverence and pursuit of fashioning the best style. Syrah and Shiraz — we’ve got you covered on the best of both turns.
There’s no argument that wine making began in the old world and all the noble grapes that now preen as international stars trace their nativity to the trinity of France, Spain and Italy. What sets Rhone Valley original Syrah in rarefied light is its stunning transformation in the new world so much so that the grape itself was rechristened Shiraz : code for a new world overhaul that began in Australia’s Barossa Valley and rubbed off as a positive influence across South Africa, America, South America and India. This inky red wine that tastes of berries and mild pepper in the Rhone Valley takes on a bold and full bodied avatar in the new world. And as the world celebrates International Shiraz Day on July 22 to recognise Shiraz’s tremendous success, let’s delve a bit into Syrah’s land of origin, the Shiraz phenomenon that continues to stir up the new world and taste Wine Park’s impressive cache of both new and old world Syrah nay Shiraz — your call!
Rhone Valley Original
Yes, this is prime Syrah country — the region of its birth and far and away still the best producer. The subtle dark fruit and peppery overtones and supple tannins that define the classic Rhone Valley Syrah style is the muse of many a Syrah aficionados. And there are so many styles to mine across this picturesque region in south of France. Straddled by the Rhone Alps, the Rhone Valley is divvied up into Northern and Southern Rhone, featuring some of the world’s most popular appellations. And northern Rhone is where Syrah lords as the primary red grape while in the southern half, Syrah is blended with other local red grapes Grenache and Mourvedre. Cote Rotie is geographically and stylishly at the top of Northern Rhone with stunningly beautiful and steep terraces that carpet the region yield Syrah of elegant balance and lengthy tannins. Then there’s Hermitage that is credited with making the region’s most age worthy wines not to mention, the most expensive. The Hermitage Syrah takes its time in cellar to open up and when it does, the wine floors with intense black fruit and smoke. The Rhone is the epicentre of Syrah and while it visibly differs with Shiraz in flavour and weight, this wine is the inescapable foundation on which the Shiraz style was seeded and grown into a raging phenomenon.
Owning Shiraz
The evolution of Shiraz began in the late 18th century in South Australia where the Syrah vine was first planted and after a century of tumult, the fruit emerged with a wine of distinct style and name. Today, the Australian Shiraz style is lush, full bodied, fruit driven and bold with firm tannins. South Australia’s Barossa region makes the country’s Shiraz and also its most expensive bottle of wine, The Penfolds Grange. But the Aussies couldn’t keep the Shiraz rage all to themselves. New world colleagues caught on in the Americas and Africa, forging their own style driven by the freedom to experiment. South Africa in particular has emerged as a stirring success making both a big and bold style piping with ripe fruit, weight and fleshy tannins as well as a medium bodied subtle wine that is similar to the old world. The country’s Western Cape provides the perfect terroir to grow ripe and robust shiraz, given the ample sunshine, tempered by cooling oceanic winds. India too is firmly in the game with Syrah becoming this young wine country’s most planted red grape, dominating the vast plains of Nashik and yielding nicely ripened berries and a subsequent wine of concentrated flavours and fleshy tannins. Shiraz is the backbone of the Indian wine phenomenon, making impressive estate reds and blends that have won international acclaim. And Wine Park has left no style unturned, rigorously exploring the wine universe to handpick a bunch of Syrah and Shiraz wines (including blends) from the finest Rhone Valley apellations and best New World estates across South Africa, America, India and much more. Keep yourself immersed in the fascinating story of this fruit and have yourself a vinous International Shiraz Day.