Dark and meaty but oh so fresh and floral, Northern Rhone is where Syrah can achieve its most extraordinary balance.
Few wines can age as Syrah grown on the steep hillsides along the Rhone River in the prestigious appellations of Cote Rotie, Hermitage and Cornas. On this coolest, northernmost border of Syrah, you'll find its most lean and fresh expression combined with classic notes of meat, tar, smoked bacon and black pepper. Some like them young and crunchy, others prefer the tannins to soften a bit and tertiary aromas to unfold over 10 to 30 years for the very best examples.
Right now you'll find examples from a modern style producer like Guigal, known for his exceptional use of new wood, as well as old school glitterati Auguste Clape, known for his use of whole clusters and a more greenish herbal note. 2010 and 2016 are classic vintages!
The next big thing could very well be Franck Balthazar, whose un-sulfured Cornas gets harder and harder to get your hands on. Amazingly we've seen a couple from the 2016 vintage for sale on UrbanWineBox at much lower prices than what you pay for the new ones.
Move south, and Syrah will often be a blending partner, though stand-alone examples do exist. Cultish producer Emmanuel Reynaud of Chateau Rayas is known to make arguably the best 100 % Syrah of the Southern Rhone from his Chateau de Fonsalette. We are quite excited to have one for sale!
When grown in Australia and other warm climates, the grape will often be called Shiraz. These wines will showcase a much more powerful and fruit-forward style. Perfect for your summer barbecues! Most famous, and considered one of the very great wines of the world, Penfolds' "Grange Bin 95" is as age-worthy as they get. But many other Australian Shirazes will evolve beautifully and achieve an indulgent balance of dark fruits and chocolate.