A high-quality red wine grape that gained its reputation in France’s Rhone region. In the northern Rhone, Syrah is the principal grape of the esteemed wines from Cornas, Cote-Rotie, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and Saint-Joseph. In the southern Rhone, Syrah is used to contribute flavor and structure to the multi-variety wines from Chateauneuf-Du-Pape and Cotes-du-Rhone. When young, Syrah wines are deep-colored and tannic, with spicy and peppery qualities. Mature Syrahs show characteristics of sweet blackberries, blackcurrants and plums. In Australia Syrah is called Shiraz and is that country’s most widely planted red grape. In California, the Petite Sirah grape was long thought to be Syrah, but enologists now believe the two varieties are unrelated.

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