Syrah: Articles on the Syrah Red Wine Grape Varietal

Top Ten California Syrahs - 2016

I tend to taste and drink a lot of wine over the course of a year.  I am in a few tasting groups, sometimes the wines are consumed at various local wine store tastings and a number drunk with friends and family.

Sonoma's Must Try Syrahs - 2015 Best of Sonoma


For the 2015 Best of Sonoma Lists we surveyed hundreds of local vintners asking for their inside perspective of the best wines, tasting rooms, and restaurants in Sonoma. 

There are certain syrahs—and the wineries who make them—that should be on every syrah-inspired Sonoma wine tour. To get a list of the top of the top, we surveyed over 100 Sonoma wine producers for their favorite syrahs in Sonoma.

Top 10 California Syrahs - The Wine List - October 2014

Syrah is a grape that most wine merchants will tell you is a difficult sell.  It seems it’s always going to be the next big thing, but never is.  For consumers, that’s a good thing.  A great Syrah usually will cost far less than a comparable quality Cabernet or Pinot Noir.  For my money, I tend to buy more Syrah than any other grape.  A disclaimer here – I liked it so much, I started to make it. 

In any event, as the temperatures start to drop, fall is great time for a hearty red with dinner or next to a warming fire.  Syrah is a grape that really changes its personality depending on where it is grown.  Cooler climate Syrahs can be quite different from warmer climate ones.  California has plenty of each.  While I love many of the cooler climate Syrahs, most of the ones listed below are warmer climate Syrahs.  In my opinion, that is where the very best of Syrahs from California can be found.

Best Syrah Worth Seeking Out (for the money)

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best syrah for the money:

Syrah seems to be ubiquitous these days but in fact it’s still an uphill battle for this grape to get the recognition it deserves. If syrah is new to you, the Liberty School Syrah ($14) is a great place to start. With plenty of blackberry, plum and boysenberry fruit and an appropriate oak and acid balance, this syrah avoids being a fat fruity wine with no finesse. Instead it’s surprisingly mature with soft tannins. I drank this with Cajun spiced quail and the beauty of this wine is that it can pair with so many foods. I wonderful go-to syrah and a terrific price point.  Michael Cervin, Wine Judge, Restaurant Critic, and IntoWine Featured Writer

California Napa Syrah Vintage Charts

Napa Syrah    
2009 89 D/H
2008 89 D/H
2007 92

What's the difference between Petite Syrah, Syrah, and Shiraz?

QUESTION: What's the difference between Petite Syrah, Syrah, and Shiraz?

Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape.  It tends to be labeled as Shiraz in Australia and Syrah in the rest of the world (remembering that in France it is more likely to have a geographic name such as St. Joseph or Cote Rotie).  There are in fact different strains of Syrahs around the world and often in the same vineyard.

2007 RivkaSimone Syrah - IntoWineTV Episode 127

"Cult wine brands of Crushpad". IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad.

How to Make Great Syrah: Winemaking Tips for the Micro Winery

Syrah has long been the king of the Rhone Valley, in South East France. Historically, Syrah has been a ‘secret’ blending component in red Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. Today, Syrah is grown all over the world. In Sicily and South Africa, Australia and the United States, Syrah’s potential is well known as a single variety and as a component in blends. For the micro-winery, Syrah can be an indispensable part of your wine program.

Hawke's Bay: New Zealand's Oldest Wine Region

Hawke's Bay, the oldest wine region in New Zealand, is known for its top-quality red wines and chardonnays.  In fact, 30 percent of all chardonnay grapes grown in New Zealand are planted in the Hawke's Bay wine region.


2006 Andrew Murray M Stolpman Vineyard Syrah - IntoWineTV Episode 91

"Wines from the movie Sideways." Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Bartholomew Broadbent, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the 2006 Andrew Murray M Stolpman Vineyard Syrah from California's Santa Ynez Valley.

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