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A Weather Guide for Syrah

Like all wines, Syrah offers different flavors and textures depending on the climate where the grapes are grown—unlike some wines, though, it can be delicious from a broad range of climates, too.

Cool Climate

Regions: Northern Rhône, France; Anderson Valley, California; Tasmania, Australia

Flavor Notes: Raspberry, smoke, violets

Wine Pick: 2007 Delas Les Launes Crozes-Hermitage ($22) Cool climates tend to emphasize the smoky and floral notes in Syrah, as with this streamlined, berry-inflected red from France's Northern Rhône Valley.

Moderate Climate

Regions: Stellenbosch, South Africa; Carneros, California; Coonawarra, Australia

Flavor Notes: Blackberry, black pepper

Wine Pick: 2008 Bedrock Wine Co. Hudson Vineyard Syrah Whole Cluster ($39) The warmth of Napa's Carneros region is cooled by breezes off San Pablo Bay. That means spicy, layered wines like this single-vineyard bottling.

Warm Climate

Regions: Sicily, Italy; Paso Robles, California; Barossa Valley, Australia

Flavor Notes: Blackberry jam, espresso

Wine Pick: 2008 Charles Cimicky Trumps Shiraz ($16) Australia's Barossa Valley, like other warm, inland regions, gives Syrah distinctively rich, ripe flavors. Cimicky's affordable bottling is a spot-on example of the style.

More Syrah Tips:

Published November 2010
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