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Syrah Wine Varietal Definition

A cluster of Shiraz grapes

The great grape of the Rhône Valley has become more widely planted in California, Washington, Arizona and Virginia, in the last ten years. Highly aromatic wines with meaty, smoky, spicy and peppery flavors are the trademark of the Syrah grape. When made in a lighter style, it's a good quaffing wine to pair with simple bistro food. When made in a richer style, it's a good accompaniment to lamb and wild game. Syrah is the grape found in French Côte Rôtie, St. Joseph and Cornas, and plays a major role in the spicy Châteauneuf-du-Papes of the southern Rhône, too. In California, the Syrah grape is being cultivated in such diverse regions as Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Monterey, and the Amador Foothills.

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(Updated: 11/19/12 JLD)

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