The Vineyards

Merlot 12/09/2008

Syrah 12/09/2008.    Finca Vinyetes

Syrah is a dark-skinned variety of grape used in wine. Syrah is grown in many countries and is primarily used to produce powerful red wines, which enjoy great popularity in the marketplace, relatively often under the synonym Shiraz. Syrah is used both for varietal wines and in blended wines, where it can be both the major and minor component. It is called Syrah in its country of origin, France, as well as in the rest of Europe, Argentina, Chile, and most of the United States. The name Shiraz became popular for this grape variety in Australia, where it has long been established as the most grown dark-skinned variety. In Australia it was also commonly called Hermitage up to the late 1980s, but since that name is also a French Protected designation of origin, this naming practice caused problem on some export markets and was dropped. The name Shiraz for this grape variety is also commonly used in South Africa, Canada, and New Zealand. DNA profiling in 1999 found Syrah to be the offspring of two obscure grape varieties from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche.

As of 2004, Syrah was estimated to be the world's 7th most grown variety at 142.600 hectares, after having enjoyed a strong growth in plantings for several years.

The grape is also known under many other synonyms that are used in various parts of the world including Antourenein Noir, Balsamina, Candive, Entournerein, Hignin Noir, Marsanne Noir, Schiras, Sirac, Syra, Syrac, Serine, and Sereine.

Wines made from Syrah are often quite powerfully flavoured and full-bodied. The variety produces wines with a wide range of flavor notes, depending on the climate and soils where it is grown, as well as other viticultural practices chosen. Aroma characters can range from violets to berries (usually dark as opposed to red), chocolate, espresso and black pepper. No one aroma can be called "typical" though blackberry and pepper are often noticed. With time in the bottle these "primary" notes are moderated and then supplemented with earthy or savory "tertiary" notes such as leather and truffle. "Secondary" flavor and aroma notes are those associated with several things, including winemakers' practices (such as oak barrel and yeast regimes), and land terroir qualities.

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