Syrah

This full-bodied, dark-fruited red is perfect with grilled meat and strong cheeses. Francesco Tessa, head sommelier at Michelin- starred Angler shares his top syrah pickd

The Grape

Once thought to originate from the Middle East, (hence the moniker, ‘shiraz’) this dark-skinned grape is actually from France. The offspring of two varieties, mondeuse blanche and dureza, it’s easy to grow, even in poor soil.

The Taste

Syrah is synonymous with spiciness, with notes of black and white pepper, combined with medium to high tannins, a medium to full body and black fruit aromas.

The Pairings

Duck, goose and all things game have long been good matches, but so too are big slabs of rare beef, grilled lamb, barbecued pork, and even soft, strong-flavoured cheeses.

The Vines

For the pure syrah, home is northern Rhône, but its second home is Australia, where – along with other New World countries including Chile and Argentina – it’s known as shiraz. It was introduced here in 1831 by James Busby, the ‘father ‘of Australian viticulture, with the Barossa Valley among the top regions. California is another hotbed, proving ever-popular in recent time.

2020 Running Duck Shiraz, Stellar Organics, Western Cape, South Africa

A pure South African shiraz that’s truly characterful and with no added sulphur. Exceptional value, with great dark fruits, pepper and integrated tannins.

Available at:£12.50, thebottles.co.uk

2020 Running Duck Shiraz, Stellar Organics, Western Cape, South Africa

2019 'Hilltops' Shiraz, Clonakilla, New South Wales, Australia

Clonakilla introduced the first Canberra District wine to the market over 50 years ago, and in terms of quality and consistency the winery is yet to disappointed. Oaked and concentrated with superb red fruits – dark cherry, blackberry – spices and soft tannins.

Available at:£27, vinoteca.co.uk

2019 'Hilltops' Shiraz, Clonakilla, New South Wales, Australia

2013 Syrah, Michele Satta, Tuscany, Italy

From the commune of Castagneto Carducci in the heart of Tuscany, Michele Satta delivers one of the best examples of syrah in Italy. Expect a fruit-driven nose of plum, cherry and pepper.

Available at:£25, sommelierschoice.co.uk

2013 Syrah, Michele Satta, Tuscany, Italy

2015 Mount Edelstone Shiraz, Henschke, Eden Valley, Australia

This legendary winery was founded over 150 years ago and produces the iconic ‘Hill of Grace’. Mount Edelstone is 100 per cent shiraz from ungrafted, hundred-year-old vines and the 2015 is an exceptional vintage with a multidimensional expression, and superb texture. One of Australia's finest and unique in every sense.

Available at:£117, etonvintners.com

2015 Mount Edelstone Shiraz, Henschke, Eden Valley, Australia

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