Syrah is a red-skinned grape variety with its origins in Rhone, France. Syrah is grown best in moderate climates to develop its medium body and tannin structure. In California, the grape is grown in both warm sunny climates such as the Napa Valley,Antelope Valley, and Paso Robles; cool climates like Sonoma and Santa Ynez; and in distinctive rocky high elevated terrain such as El Dorado, Rockpile, and the Sierra Foothills. Elsewhere in America, Syrah is grown to much acclaim in Washington State. Worldwide, Syrah can be fund in Rhone France, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia, and Switzerland.
Syrah’s flavor and profile change drastically depending on the soil and climate of where it's produced. In rocky soil and moderate climates, the wine can stand alone without the need for blending. In warm climates, the wine is often blended with other Rhone varietals, such as Grenache. The signature nose of Syrah in California is of meat, smoke, and black pepper. As the wine opens, a more pronounced berry, chocolate, violets, and leather notes move to the forefront. Syrah’s should be medium tannin and medium acid on the palate with strong flavors of berry, espresso, tobacco, and smoke.
Because of it’s medium tannin structure and acidity, Syrah has the ability to stand up to most pork, sausage and cured meat dishes. A smoky Syrah is a natural pairing for medium to low spiced barbecue and Indian food dishes. A more delicate Syrah will go nicely with earthy flavors such as game, rabbit, or lamb as well as with braised meats.