All About Shiraz
Updated: Feb 17
Shiraz is a real treat for the senses, and one of the most desirable red wine varietal out there. Also known as Syrah (the French term), this wine is typically bold with aromatic notes of black fruit and black pepper. Stylistically, it can be soft and fruity, or complex and tannic.
A black grape variety with thick skin, producing wines of medium to high tannins and acidity. These small grapes grow well in moderate to warm climates.
Climate greatly influences the style and flavor of wines produced from these grapes.
Aroma and Taste Profile
Fresh black fruit, Herbal notes, and black pepper
Cooked black fruit and liquorice
Shiraz is typically matured in oak to soften its tannins and add smoke and spice notes to the wine. Over time, this variety has the potential to age for decades in the bottle and develop tertiary flavors of leather, meat, and earth.
You’ll often find Shiraz as a single varietal wine or blended with other black grape varieties to create complex red blends. In France, it’s typically combined with Grenache and other varieties to make Rhone-style blends like Chateauneuf Du Pape. The famous GSM of Australia is a mix of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre. The Super Tuscan wine of Italy is made from Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc.
We can’t speak of Shiraz without talking about the Northern Rhone. In this AOC, Syrah is the only black grape variety allowed to be planted. Blessed with a moderate climate and influences of the Rhone river, Syrah grapes ripen with ease. Premier Cru wines are produced by vineyards so steep, that everything needs to be done by hand - racking the prices up. Complex and peppery Syrah with the potential to age well in the cellars of your wine collection are born off of Cote Rotie AOC. Other notable appellations include Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and Minervois AOC in the south of France.
The moderate to warm climates of the land down under makes it an ideal place to grow Shiraz. It’s no wonder the grape is the most widely planted variety in the country and outside of France. The oldest vines, producing the most concentrated Shiraz, typically come from the region known as Barossa Valley. Its warm climate yields full-bodied wines with ripe fruit and black pepper notes typically aged in oak to add vanilla and coffee aromas. Another notable warm region is the Hunter Valley. Covered by clouds and kissed by sea breezes in the summer, Shiraz in this region gives fresh black fruit flavors, medium-bodied with medium to high tannins. The Margaret River and Manjimup regions in Western Australia yield similar bottles of this wonderful grape and extend to cooler regions such as the Great Southern GI as well.
McHenry Hohnen Rocky Road Shiraz 2015
McHenry Hohnen Rocky Road Shiraz conjures the spirit of a warm summer’s day when you’re kicking back with friends or family.
Big on fresh blueberries with hints of cherry cola and white pepper notes plus a smoothness from barrel fermentation that just coats your mouth with flavor – so explosive - you might want to pair it with red meats like grilled beef, lamb, or even barbecued chicken.
Tyrian Clouds Shiraz 2018
Expressive and opulent in style - Tyrian Clouds Shiraz opens with a nose of dark plums complemented by Middle Eastern spice and pepper. It flows easily across the palate with rip notes, underpinned with savory tannins towards the end.
Taste the beauty and complexity of the Manjimup region of Western Australia with a bottle of 92-point Shiraz, rated meticulously by the Wine Showcase Magazine.
McHenry Hohnen Grenache Syrah Mataro 2018
Elegant and bold, this premium red from McHenry Hohnen Hazel's Vineyard will make a remarkable gift to any table. Made from 85% Grenache. 10% Shiraz and 5% Mataro. This 94-point GSM reflects the sophistication and magnificence of the Margaret River region in Western Australia.
The exuberant fruit taste of mulberry and cherry confection fills the nose and coat the palate. A notable touch of spice and savouriness from the Shiraz and Mataro. The finish is persistent with layers of cocoa, coffee liqueur, and a frame of firm but fine tannins. If you want to know what Australian GSM is all about, check this bottle out.
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