Syrah is the king of the Rhône and rides the wave of fashion, matching Cabernet Sauvignon in richness, structure and ageability. Its famous, historic home is the Northern Rhône; here its aromatic character includes black pepper, violets, plums, bacon, tar and leather. It is the origin of such great, powerful wines as Hermitage and Côte Rôtie. The other archetypal Syrah hails from Australia where it is called Shiraz and is much prized in warm regions such as Barossa. Here the aromas become more chocolaty with dark, ripe, sweet and spicy flavours. Producers usually align the style of their wine to one of these two archetypes and label them accordingly as either “Syrah” or “Shiraz”.
Syrah is a vigorous grape variety with a short ripening period making the window for optimum harvesting rather fine. Its berries are small and dark and tend to shrivel once over ripeness has been reached. Syrah is widely grown across the world in varying climates. In France it is increasingly used in Provence and the Languedoc alongside other Rhône varieties such as Grenache and Mourvèdre. Spain is in the midst of Syrah fever and in the New World, it has found success in South Africa, Argentina and Washington State.
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- 2015 Château FontarècheCuvée Pierre Mignard Corbières0,75l Red€6.59 €5.45Made by Arnaud de Lamy, previously a director of Château La Conseillante in Pomerol, at his historic family estate. A dark purple-ruby colour with a spicy, lighlty oaked nose showing aromas of blackberries and prunes. The palate is round, supple and full of character. The terroir of Corbières is well-suited to the classic Rhône varieties - such as Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Grenache which are very prettily blended in this wine.
- 2016 Château FontarècheCuvée Pierre Mignard Corbières0,75l Red€6.80 €5.62This good value Corbières has become a mainstay of our selection. It is made by Arnaud de Lamy, previously a director of Château La Conseillante in Pomerol, at his historic family estate. The wine has a dark, intense colour, good plummy nose with touches of cedar, spice and plums. On the palate the wine has flavours of bitter cherries, sloes and spice. Good Rhône flavours predominate on the finish. An easy wine for current drinking to serve with stews, paté and other meat dishes.
- 2015 Réserve PasserelMontpeyroux0,75l RedNew€7.20 €5.95A well-known appellation, the village of Montpeyroux was a famous 14th century fortress and the summer residence of the bishops of Montpellier. Its wines were well known for their rich character. Here in the Hérault the climate is sunny and dry with stony soils of limestone, garrigue and pebbles and the Syrah grape grows well alongside Grenache and Carignan. The grapes are given a long maceration to bring out the fruity flavours. The wine has a dark, pretty purple colour, a fresh nose with smoky, autumn fruit flavours, floral notes of violets and iris and more spicy, earthy flavours on the palate. The Syrah grape dominates here and there is a long, perfumed finish. Drink this wine with game, roast meats and cheeses. Drink : now - 2018.
- 2014 Château La PagèzeLa Clape0,75l RedBio€7.34 €6.07We have just discovered this wine in the La Clape appellation in the Languedoc region of southern France. La Clape has a good reputation owing to its beautiful landscape and the quality of its wines. Located near the coast on the edge of the limestone plateau, Château La Pageze benefits from an ideal exposure as it faces eastwards where the sun rises above the Mediterranean Sea. Made from a typical blend of Syrah-Grenache-Mourvèdre grapes and cold macerated before fermentation, the wine is intense, spicy and fruity with an attractive length in the mouth recalling aromas of garrigue and pine trees. Serve slightly chilled to accompany pizza, pasta, rice dishes and cheese for easy entertaining.
- Côtes du Rhône Villages0,75l RedBio€9.20 €7.60One of the great domaines of the Rhone making authentic and full-bodied, bio wines. Like the famous Château La Nerthe, the estate is managed by Alain Dugas and is magnificently situated in Sérignan, in the north of Orange. It is predominantly planted with Grenache with smaller quantities of Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Carignan vines which are on average 40 years old. This vintage has already amassed a slew of medals and awards and is noted for its intense, complex nose which has toasty aromas, sweet spice and concentrated red fruit. The palate is very harmonious, round, fresh and velvety-smooth. Ready to drink now. A perfect match for game.
- 2014 Château ValcombeEpicure Rouge Ventoux0,75l RedBio€10.70 €8.84We love this wine for its pure, fresh flavours and its ripe fruit, brimming with character and richness. Produced from vines that are more than 55 years old, grown on the southern slopes of Mount Ventoux but facing north-west and cooled by constant breezes, this wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Carignan and 15% Syrah. Grapes. It combines lovely plummy, briar fruit with spicy notes of black pepper, liquorice and cloves. At the center of this wine, there is excellent concentration, purity and depth which leads to a satisfying, rich finish. Excellent value, this organic wine, using barely any sulphur, just keeps getting better and better.
- Côtes du Rhône Villages0,75l RedBio€12.80 €10.58Les Cassagnes de La Nerthe Rouge 2015 (bio) 60% Grenache Noir, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre grapes are used in this exciting, organic Côtes du Rhône which replaces the former Domaine Renjarde wine. Made by the same, ambitious winemakers, the Cassagnes comes from a forty year old vineyard planted on limestone and sandstone. The wine is aged in large oak vats to keep the primary freshness of the fruit: plums, blackberries, bing cherries and sloes are the aromas that are conjured up here without being jammy or too sweet. On the palate the purity of the fruit is evident with some spicy notes of freshly crushed black pepper, cloves and lingering notes of liquorice and lavender on the finish. A lovely wine, perfectly balanced between richness and freshness and full of spicy Rhône flavours. Very easy to drink now this wine will âge well for 5-10 years and matches well with game dishes, stews, roast meats and barbecues.
- 2015 LibertaToscana IGT0,75l Red€14.00 €11.57A great value Super Tuscan wine made from a blend of Merlot, Syrah and a small quantity of Sangiovese grapes grown on the Colazzi estate. Libertà is made with grapes from the Collazzi estate. The wine brings out the best of each of these grapes: Merlot's soft tannins, Syrahs spicy richness and the elegant fragrance of Sangiovese. The wine owes its name to a donation that the City of Florence made to eight local families, among which the former owners of Collazzi, who had valiantly fought for the citys freedom. Dark coloured with soft, red fruit flavours, round and ripe on the palate with sweet tannins and good balance. This is a rich and spicy wine without being overpowering which matches well with pasta, tomato sauce, meats and cheeses. Drink : 2017-2019.
- 2016 LibertaToscana IGT0,75l Red€14.10 €11.65A great value Super Tuscan wine made from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and a small quantity of Sangiovese grapes grown on the Colazzi estate. The wine brings out the best of each of these grapes: Merlot's soft tannins, fresh, red fruit aroma’s from the Cabernet Franc, Syrah’s spicy richness and the elegant fragrance of Sangiovese. The wine owes its name to a donation that the City of Florence made to eight local families, among which the former owners of Collazzi, who had valiantly fought for the city’s freedom. Dark, violet coloured with soft, ripe red fruit flavours, attractive and fresh on the palate with sweet tannins and good balance. As the vineyard grows older, the wine becomes richer and more expressive giving it a lot of personality. Matches well with pasta, tomato sauce, meats and cheeses.