Wine of the Week: Winter is the best time to break out the syrah

Whether you say Syrah or Shiraz, nothing warms the soul as much as the dark red wine made from one of the 10 best grape varieties in the world.

Whether you say Syrah or Shiraz, nothing warms the soul as much as the dark red wine made from one of the 10 best grape varieties in the world. (Getty Images / iStockphoto / michelsass)

It’s been so cold lately that even my dog ​​doesn’t want to go outside! So it’s time to do what any decent red blood red wine consumer would do: break out of the king of the great red wines – Syrah.

Whether you say Syrah or Shiraz, nothing warms the soul as much as the dark red wine made from one of the 10 best grape varieties in the world.

Today the Syrah grape is found in the warm, sunny climates of California, Washington state, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa, Spain and of course Australia, where it is known as Shiraz (pronounced “Shee-Rahz”).

Syrah alone produces single-variety wines of remarkable distinction, but also knows how to play well with others in legendary blends.

Of course, the French wine regions Hermitage, Côte Rôtie and Cornas in the northern Rhone Valley are famous for their Syrah wines – the best fetch over $ 500 a bottle.

However, many enthusiasts believe that Australia – specifically McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, and Barossa Valley – and California’s central coast have caught up with the Old World in terms of quality and agility.

Regardless of which region the Syrah label flies to, you can rely on wines that show strength and finesse at the same time.

A good friend of mine describes Syrah as “an iron fist in a velvet glove”. While properties can vary widely depending on soil and climate, general characteristics include darker fruit flavors (blackberries and plums) with notes of mocha, roasted coffee, tobacco, chocolate, and of course black pepper.

Winemaking techniques can also impart flavors of toasted oak and vanilla.

I think they’re best enjoyed on cold nights with heartier dishes like beef or lamb stew, grilled steaks, and game, but I personally enjoy drinking them all year round.

The 2015 Opolo Estate Syrah by Paso Robles is a full-bodied Syrah that is light and lively on the nose and smells of black plums, black cherries and spicy pepper. In the mouth it shows rich aromas of black fruits, framed by sweet tannins and balanced acidity.

Creamy vanilla and peppercorns on the middle palate reinforce the firm core of dark, rich fruits, while additional notes of black pepper ensure a deep and complex finish. $ 30

Another domestic choice comes from the notable Central Coast region of California. The 2018 Stolpman Syrah from Santa Ynez with an eye-catching nose of black fruit, saddle leather and roast meat is fascinating and persistent.

The palate is filled with aromas of black cherry, dark plum, roasted game and smoke that slide over the tongue and into the finish. A hint of mocha mixes with soft tannins for a medium-bodied finish. $ 30

Listen and subscribe to The Vine Guy podcast on Podcast One

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to talk about this and other articles.

If you sign up here, you will receive breaking news and daily headlines in your email inbox.

© 2021 WTOP. All rights reserved. This website is not aimed at users in the European Economic Area.

Comments are closed.