I have always been close to my native land-Sicily-with its varied scents and flavors, and I would like to tell you about one of the finest wines known around the world as “Syrah”.
it is known to be one of the most important wines and its origin remains controversial to this day. There exist two names for the same type of grape “Syrah” and “Shiraz”, which belongs to a group of grapes known as “international”. Although it is widely popular in Italy, Australia, California and South Africa, historical records point out to the Rhone Valley in France and Australia. Experts believe that it originates from the Middle East and it was already cultivated during the Roman Empire and used for the production of wines in the Rhone Valley.
Whilst the Rhone Valley claims the oldest tradition, the status of these vines in Australia is something quite recent. It was probably imported into the country by James Busby in 1837 and since then its name has changed from “Scyras” to “Shiraz”, which is still its existent name.
Differences between the French Syrah and the Australian Shiraz are not only due to the different climatic and environmental conditions of these two countries, but the process of making wine also plays crucial role.
Whilst in France, in the Rhone Valley, the wine is produced by adding Viogner, in Australia the wine is often mixed with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Syrah is a type of grape which takes quite a long time to ripe; its bunches have a compact appearance and have long dark-colored berries. It is also quite suitable for ageing in casks and it can be grown both in hot and cold climates depending upon what type of flavors one wants to obtain.
In many Italian regions, the need to bring together a wide variety of international wines has triggered the decision to produce Syrah using native grapes, especially in Tuscany, where Syrah is used to enhance the quality of Sangiovese.
Color, aroma and taste of the Syrah wines.
Wines produced with Syrah grapes have usually a dark and intense color and the older they are the better. This feature is typical of those wines that are collected in small quantities; on the contrary, their color will be pale and almost transparent if collected in big quantities. Ripe Syrah grapes have a ruby-like color.
As for its aromas, European manufacturers prefer a flavor similar to that of black pepper, whilst in the New World “Syrah”, or more precisely “Shiraz” is characterized by a fruity aroma similar to jam. Its aroma and ageing process are greatly affected by the type wood of which the casks are made of.
It is even possible to tell the two different flavors apart. In the Rhone Valley wines have a robust flavor with low acidity, whilst the Australian ones are full-bodied and dense. Generally, however, these types of grapes are characterized by a quite dry taste.
Finally, I suggest you to try Syrah with savory meat, grilled red meat, smoked and herbal cheese, and even swordfish flavored with rosemary, which is really taste.
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Edited by Borgo Grondaie