Sira / Shiraz

Sira and Shiraz wines are made from the same grape variety, but the history of the difference in names goes back to two world market headliners – the French Rhone Valley and Australia.

Key points:

  • Syrah and Shiraz are two names for the same grape variety. This happens sometimes in the wine world. For example, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are also different names for the same variety, but fundamentally different “style” and, accordingly, expectations.
  • Traditional Australian Shiraz tends to be more full-bodied, ripe and concentrated in flavor. Often semi-dry and less acidic. While the old-world Syrah from the North Rhone will combine rich berries with floral aromas and a more understated character.

What are the differences?

The difference between them is largely due to the climate and regional characteristics. Winemakers working in cooler regions (both the New World and the Old World) usually call their wines Syrah. The most famous and famous Syrah wines are produced in the Northern Rhone (Kot Roti, Hermitage, etc.).

The winemaker makes the decision. He can bottle Shiraz to show that he has made a rich, puffy, full bodied, fruity Australian style wine. Or he could instead name his wine Syrah to show that he has made a wine in the “French style”: graceful and with berries. Unfortunately, not everyone and not always follow this principle, calling their wines.

Shiraz is usually made in warmer climates (South Australia). Stylistically, they are much more powerful and fruity-rich wines.

Shirazov (from the point of view of naming) cannot be found, perhaps, in the Northern Rhone region and indeed in France. There are some separate wines from Languedoc with the Shiraz appellation, but in general, Syrah can be found mainly in France.

Syrah is found in Chile, South Africa, Greece and even in Russia. In Australia, of course, there is no Sira – only Shiraz. However, ideologically, some wines (today this will be in the examples) could safely write in the “French version”.

Shirazy and Sira for “try”

Two Hands Angels’ Share Shiraz (17)

Two Hands is a young, but already recognized Australian farm, where even the Scottish Highlands family (a breed of cows) are registered as team members (on the site), who accompany guests on a tour of the vineyards.

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We started simply. In 1999, Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz at a friendly party just decided that they wanted to make the best Australian wine and sell it all over the world. The main goal was and is – to create the best wines based on Shiraz.

Share of Angels (the title is obviously given to the wine in honor of the film). Excellent Shiraz, making you think that he is “Syrah”: with ringing acidity and light animalism in the aroma. Alcohol, although a bit too high (which already gives out an Australian in it with giblets) so that from the first glass the cheeks turn pink noticeably, is hidden cool. Almost ideal wine for lovers of rich and slightly tannin acid wines.

💥 Assessment: 4.2

  • Where: Simple wineries
  • How much: 3640 rubles. (retail price)

This wine was seen in Lenta, and it costs about 2,000 rubles there.

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz (17)

Two Hands Angels' Share Shiraz 2017 Review

Shiraz from the iconic family owned Australian Penfolds winery.

Max Schubert and Grange, who created the fashion for Shiraz in the world – just google this name and wine, and everything will fall into place.

Yes, the wine from them is the most basic, but affordable. Prices for top positions are comparable to elite Bordeaux castles.

Light smoked meats, mint, leather and tobacco, blueberry jam and spiced cranberries. Delicate and soft tannin is hidden behind acidity and spices. A very balanced Shiraz with no sharp corners and no complaints.

  • Where: Simple wineries
  • How much: 2190 rubles. (retail price)

💥 Assessment: 4.0-4.2

Tournon Mathilda Shiraz (17)

Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2017 Review

Another Australian with a French soul. The project of the famous Rhone king Michel Chapoutier.

Elegant and austere like a three-piece suit. Plum, black pepper, black berries. Light sweetness turns into a long dry aftertaste. Not Sira yet, but not Shiraz either.

As in the case of the famous anecdote (whatever the Russians do, it always turns out Kalashnikov) – even in Australia Shiraz makes Chapoutier, and the excellent Syrah comes out.

  • Where: Monopol wineries
  • How much: 2254 rubles. (retail price)
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🔥 Assessment: 4.4

dʻArenberg The Footbolt Shiraz (16)

D'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2016 Review

Chester d’Arenberg Osborne is the main winemaker and successor of the family business, and Footballt is the name of the horse of the Osborne family.

A wine with great potential and horse power. Of course, you can try it now, but the tannin and acidity ring in such a way that it clogs the ears, and wine, like jelly, can be eaten with a spoon. Tkemali, spices, currant jam, chocolate are all there too.

If you are impatient, then at least half an hour open and give air to him. More!

  • Where: Fort wineries
  • How much: 2300 rubles. (retail price)

🔥 Assessment: 4.2

d’Arenberg The Stump Jump Shiraz (17)

D'Arenberg The Stump Jump Shiraz 2017 Review

“Bottom” line from the same manufacturer with a functional label for an eye test. I read the bottom line – you can still have a glass.

🧔 Black and red dried berries, peppers.

💃 Tobacco leaf, cocoa, light smoked meats, red fruits.

Cranberry on the palate, medium tannin, medium body, medium and lower acidity. Feels sweetish. Not the most muscular for Shiraz. Drinks comfortably even with 14% alcohol.

  • Where: Fort wineries
  • How much: 1435 rubles. (retail price)

In the Metro it is cheaper by half for sure

💥 Rating: 3.7-3.8

Cusumano Syrah (18)

Cusumano Syrah 2018 Review

Sicilian family winery run by the Cuzumano brothers. And this Syrah is already much more “French”.

Red berries, cocoa, caramel, raspberry jam with pepper. Intense, berry-juicy, lightly smoked and sour berries on the palate, ham in the aroma, above average and good acidity, gastronomic, soft tannin. With food and without.

  • Where: METRO
  • How much: 700-800 rubles.

🔥 Score: 4.0

In addition, we recommend a wine under a similar label from the same company, Benuara – a blend of the same Sira and a local headliner – the Nero d’Avola variety.

Look for detailed descriptions of wines, other Shirazes and Sira in our Vivino.

Again?

Traditional Shiraz from South Australia is generally considered to be brighter, with more ripe and concentrated fruit on the palate, perhaps with earthy tones and notes of chocolate, a spicy feel from new oak barrels, eucalyptus and menthol touches. Also, given the hot climate, many Australian Shiraz have higher alcohol levels.

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Syrah (if we take the “standard” from the North Rhone) can also have a powerful structure with a rich taste of black fruits, but, traditionally, it has a more restrained, ascetic character, with more prominent floral aromas and notes of black and white pepper.

There are no clear rules to regulate these distinctions and it is not easy to draw a line between these crude distinctions.

Interesting Facts

  • On the site Decanter.com in 2002 there was an article that the famous British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s lost some of its sales after they had to change the name Shiraz on the price tags to Syrah.
  • The parents of the variety are the little-known Dureza – a variety in the French region of the Rhône-Alpes, and Mondeuse Blanche. Both live near the northern Rhone, which means that it is this region that can be safely considered the historical homeland, and not Iran (as some believed before genetic research).
  • One of the main studies carried out in 2006 showed that Shiraz is a distant relative of Pinot Noir, which came as a surprise to the experts who conducted it.
  • Syrah appeared in Australia in the 19th century (brought by James Busby from France) and eventually transformed into Shiraz, becoming the flagship of the region’s wine industry. Why did the variety change its name? There are no exact data on this score, but most likely, this is either an incorrect transcription or a deliberate distortion of the name to give it historical importance (Shiraz is a city in Iran, the history of winemaking of which is almost 7 thousand years old).
  • Rhone Rangers is a non-profit organization. This is how American winemakers call themselves, who promote and promote the production of wines in the USA in the French style of the Rhone Valley (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, etc.).

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