Syrah and Shiraz are different names for the same red wine grape. In the Rhône Valley in France, the varietal has historically been known as Syrah, and in Australia it is more commonly referred to as Shiraz.
Over time, the difference between the names has become a marker of distinction between regional expression and climate-driven styles.
In Australia, Shiraz is synonymous with regions such as the Barossa where the Shiraz produced is bold, fruit forward, full-bodied and packed with spice and ripe tannins. The Barossa enjoys a warmer Mediterranean climate, which is reflected in the wines produced.
With its historical origins in France, and the Rhône Valley, the Syrah label tends to indicate a more delicate wine with elegance and restraint. When produced in cooler climates, such as the Yarra Valley, Syrah tends to be lower in alcohol than warmer climate Shiraz.
“Outside of Australia, the rest of the world refers to Shiraz as Syrah,” says winemaker Paul Bridgeman. “We’re just reflecting the origins of the cool climate stamp of Syrah as its personality by embracing that name rather than Shiraz.”
The above are guides only, with finished wines still expressing themselves differently based on regional climate, soil and the winemaker’s style.
“The way that we choose to make our Syrah is pretty much identical to how we would make Pinot Noir,” says Bridgeman. “Our Syrah is a little more medium-bodied, structured, elegant and aromatic. That perfume and aroma in Syrah is really what we’re trying to capture as well.”
Our recently released Glen Garvald range has given Bridgeman an opportunity to embark on a new and exciting journey using varietals and techniques uncommon to the Yarra Valley and our Estate and Family Paddock ranges. The 2019 Shiraz Marsanne takes its cue from Bridgeman’s enormously formative vintage experience at the legendary Domaine Jean-Louis Chave in France’s northern Rhône Valley. Historically in this appellation, Syrah (Shiraz) has been randomly yet strategically interplanted with the white grape varieties Marsanne and Roussanne. This practice creates a true ‘field blend’ where the interplanted different grape varieties are harvested at the same time to create one wine.
Discover our range of Shiraz-based wines separately or with our special twin or triple packs.
2015 Melissa’s Paddock Syrah
Melissa’s Paddock, our smallest block, is inspired by the very best Hermitage examples of the Rhône Valley. It is bottled as “Syrah” in recognition of its refined structure, savoury flavour and eloquently spiced nuance. It features a subtly brooding and slowly unfurling complex nose, featuring rumours of blackberry, liquorice, stalk, tar, spice, Christmas mince pies and charry oak.
A silky-smooth, elegant and subtly perfumed rendition of Shiraz, this wine is better suited to the old-world name Syrah. It is restrained yet complex, providing layer upon layer of mulberry, white pepper, tarragon, cedar, earth and flint in a traditional balanced medium-bodied style.
Our 2019 Glen Garvald Shiraz Marsanne raps on this theme of co-fermentation and integration by incorporating Marsanne skins from the adjacent block into the Shiraz. The
resultant wine shows the influence that even a tiny percent inclusion of a simpatico compatible ‘other’ can bring to a wine. The colour is vibrant, the aroma pronounced and bold, the palate weighty yet medium-bodied, fleshy, spicy and long.