The Dirt On Syrah
There are some grape varietals in the world of wine that are so distinctive they set themselves apart from all others. Inky, deep, rich and highly regarded, Syrah or Shiraz is the 6th most planted grape in the world! With that sort of statistic it's no wonder we’re sampling and scoring this variety this week with the High Five Wine Scoring System

With two main styles of wine made from the same grape, we’re bound to find some unique expressions with really characteristic foundations. Syrah is going to offer more of the feminine aspects. Think of Syrah as the French Rhone style with leaner, finer, more savoury notes. These wines will still boast spice, dark fruits and rich flavours but with slightly softer tannins. Shiraz promises to be more masculine and among the most full-bodied wines in the world. 

Other names you can find the Syrah and Shiraz grape recognized as: 

  • Alentejo

(100% Syrah)
  • Hermitage
  • Cote Rotie
  • Cornas 

(Blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre + others)
  • Cotes Du Rhone
  • Chateauneuf du Pape

Other places in the world where Syrah or Shiraz is grown


  • Barossa Valley
  • Adelaide Hills

  • California
  • Washington
  • Chile
  • South Africa
  • Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Okanagan

It’s nice to be able to find a bold red in so many different places around the world. Syrah and Shiraz are most boldly known for their big berry and black pepper notes but the grape really can lend itself to many more big and beautiful aromas. 

Tasting notes are as follows for these full-bodied wines:

  • Herbs
  • Intense dark fruits
  • Mushrooms
  • Licorice
  • Olives
  • Black pepper
  • Tobacco
  • Cooked fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Violets
  • Spices (rosemary, thyme, etc)
  • Cured/smoked meat
  • Vanilla
  • Baking spices
  • Truffles
  • Gamay meats
  • Cheese
  • Smoke

Can you just imagine how one of these wines might taste after reading over that list? The depth of these flavours really will leave you wanting more. 

The last question to ask is where in the world is your style of 
Shiraz or Syrah from?

If you’re off to grab yourself a bottle your Rhone style Syrahs will be found in the cooler regions like Washington, Sonoma, Okanagan and the more Australian Shiraz styles can be found in Napa, Argentina, Spain and South Africa. Of course, there will be exceptions and you’ll find bolder Shiraz styles in cooler climates as well and sometimes softer styles in those warmer climates. Watch out for the interchangeable name on the bottle in those new world wine-growing regions. If you’re exploring a new wine after reading our blog or watching one of my High Five Wine Academy scorings be sure to tag me on Instagram ( and I will share your posts to my stories.

Happy Scoring, High Fivers!




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