Syrah, often associated with the Old World expressions of the grape, presents a different profile compared to the bold, New World style of Shiraz, despite being the same grape variety.
In Australia, renowned for its exceptional Shiraz, some winemakers are exploring the more nuanced, Old World characteristics of Syrah, showcasing its versatility. While Australian Shiraz is celebrated for its intensity, richness, and fuller body, Syrah tends to be lighter in body, leaner, with finer tannins, and often lower in alcohol.
This elegant style of Syrah draws inspiration from the classic wines of the northern Rhône in France, where it is revered for producing deeply coloured, savoury, and age-worthy wines, especially in regions like Hermitage. In Côte-Rôtie, Syrah is known for its more perfumed and refined qualities, sometimes co-fermented with Viognier to add a subtle floral note. Australian wineries bottling under the varietal name "Syrah" are typically paying homage to this Old World style, offering wine enthusiasts a more restrained and elegant interpretation of the grape. It's a testament to the adaptability and diversity of Australian winemaking, where tradition and innovation coexist harmoniously.