|Syrah / Shiraz|
Shiraz is the workhorse of Austrailia. Most Australian show intense black fruit flavours, almost jammy at times with a hot peppery characteristic. The French versions ripen more slowly and don't move as far in that direction, so the less intense flavors are more noticeable. They tend to be more ripe red fruit flavors with coffee or chocolate tones.
Syrah (sir AHH) is a dark-skinned variety of grape. Syrah is grown in many countries and is primarily used to produce powerful red wines, which enjoy great popularity in the marketplace, relatively often under the synonym Shiraz (sher-AS).
Liberty Lake Wine Cellars 2007 Syrah - $25
The 2007 Syrah has exceptional character, dark fruit flavors and a hint of coffee, spice and vanilla.
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars 2008 Syrah - $22
An exciting wine that is full-bodied as well as rich and velvety smooth. Toasty spices from new French oak add hints of nutmeg, clove and licorice.
Coeur d'Alene Cellars 2006 Alder Ridge Syrah - $40
This Syrah sings of blackberry, spicy oak and vanilla notes with concentrated dark cherry and blueberry cheesecake on the palate.
Merry Cellars 2006 Stillwater Syrah - $28
This Syrah from Stillwater Creek which has been blended with just a bit of Mourvedre to give a bit more vibrancy. Offering juicy layers of ripe fruit, raspberry, cassis and a long supple finish
*SOLD OUT Syrahs from Robert Karl and Barrister have always been stunning and are currently out of stock.. Watch for the Spring 2011 releases.
Syrah/Shiraz is used both for varietal wines and in blended wines, where it can be both the major and/or minor component. The great grape of the northern Rhone Valley of France, Syrah's origins are the subject of much debate. It is called Syrah in its country of origin, France, as well as in the rest of Europe, Argentina, Chile, and most of the United States. One of the noblest black grapes, if longevity is a factor in nobility.
Latah Creek Wine Cellars just released a sensational Petite Sirah. The quantity is extremely limited so I suggest you not wait on this. It's exciting to see Washington Wine pioneer Mike Conway continue to blaze trails in winemaking. Known for producing masterful whites, Latah Creek has been releasing remarkable reds such as this latest Petite Sirah release.
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars also has a 2008 Petite Sirah from the Wahluke Slope Vineyard which is a wonderfully rich and intense. It is loaded with black currant, maple and violets.
In conclusion, Shiraz and Syrah are names for the same grape. It is most definitely NOT the same as Petit Sirah.
(Photo Credits: Syrah - Pour at Four, PS - Etours Monarch - Latah Creek/Gilmore Fine Arts)