Compared to Australian Shiraz, northern Rhône Syrahs are lighter, more perfumed and more complex. This wine has notes of violet, leather and sweet blackberry. Would work well with any game, grilled steak or hard cheese.
Syrah (aka Shiraz) is a red grape that produces different styles dependent on climate. The cooler climate Syrah style prevails in the Northern Rhône and other coolish areas of the New World producing intensely perfumed wines with medium acidity, firm tannin and complex flavour profiles with notes of violet, new leather, smoke and blackberry.
Previously a member of the local cooperative, the estate of Albert Belle is one to watch. The estate comprises of 19 hectares situated in the village of Larnage in the northern Cotes-du-Rhone. The vineyards are spread over four communes and two appellations – Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage. Yields are very low and ruthless quality control gives supple and generous wines.
This is the largest appellation in the Northern Rhône in terms of are and production. Syrah is king here, but herbal whites are also made from Marsanne and Roussanne. The wines vary hugely in quality and style, with the majority of the reds fairly light in style compared to New World Shiraz. There are a handful of quality driven producers making wines that rival the celebrated Hermitage appellation.
Good balance and acidity makes Syrah a good partner to steak, game and mature hard cheeses.