Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape, though the names are used differently around the world. This grape is at home in France’s Northern Rhone region, where it goes by Syrah and becomes the wines of Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage and Cote Rotie. French Syrah is deep, dark and peppery; perhaps more elagant and restrained than the full, fruity, jammy Australian and new world versions. French Syrah can acquire intense aromas of earth and a certain meatiness to them with big, astringent tannins.
The Aussies led the way in improving the popularity of Shiraz among winemakers. The grape is now grown around the world; from Spain to California and Argentina. Syrah/Shiraz thrives in warm climates and produces dark, complex, long-lived wines with powerful, rich berry fruit. In more moderate climates it can develop a sought-after peppery character and has tremendous ageing potential.