Que, Syrah, Shiraz - The Underrated Red


This year, the 2015 Turtlerock Cuveé is blended with a majority of 71% Syrah, 14.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Mourvedre. But what exactly sets apart Syrah from the most popular Cabernet Sauvignon and why are people so timid to try this juicy red?

Syrah (or Shiraz in Australia) is known for its rich, dark color and big bold flavors. Depending on where the grapes are grown, tasting notes vary from ripe black currant, blackberries, and herbs to meaty, mushroom, and olive notes. 

Syrah glass and grapes.jpg

There are big differences between California Syrah and French Syrah. Both have incredible characteristics, the climate and terroir set them apart from each other. 

There are two different categories of Syrah: old world and new world. 

Old World: Wines from countries or regions where wine making first originated. Europe is the only continent that is considered old world. 

Because of wine making laws and restrictions, wines are often described as tasting lighter, having less alcohol, having higher acidity, and tasting less fruity and more earthy. 

New World:  wines from countries or regions where winemaking were imported during and after the age of exploration. For example: United States, Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, etc. Any other country that has started wine making within the last century is considered New World. 

New world wines tend to be more fruit forward, have higher alcohol, and less acidic. 

glasses aroma.png

The Semler Syrah that was blended to make the Turtlerock Cuveé gives a beautiful fruit forward appeal to the blend. Syrah has a huge punch of fruit on the front of your palate and a lingering spice on the back of the palate. By blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre, these two varietals bring an even complexity by taking care of the mid-palate and adding some great tannin and fruit. 

Why is Syrah called Shiraz down in Australia?

There was an old-wives tale that Shiraz originated in Persia from the city Shiraz. There's evidence that the earliest wines were made in that part of the world. For a long time, it was believed that the origin of the Syrah in France's Rhône region was actually from cuttings of grapes near Shiraz in Persia. Legend has it that a returning crusader, Guy de Sterimberg, brought these cuttings back to France. He became a hermit and developed a vineyard on a steep hill where he lived in the Rhône Valley, which became known as Hermitage. Hermitage grows the most expensive and most sought after Syrah in the world.

After doing extensive research, there really is no explanation as to why Shiraz is used in Australia instead of Syrah. This really stumped me!

If you know the answer, please let me know so I at sleep at night again!