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