Best Syrah Wines 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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1. Côte-Rôtie  2. Suisassi 3. Côte-Rôtie 
Domaine Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Ampodium Best Syrah Duemani Suisassi Syrah Stéphane Pichat Côte Rôtie Champon’s Syrah
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Syrah, also known as Shiraz in Australia, is one of the noblest grapes of the Rhône Valley, where is one of the oldest established grape varietals.

Syrah is most closely associated with the Northern Rhône appellations of Hermitage and Côte-Rotie, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, and Cornas, where it produces wines of phenomenal elegance and longevity.

Warm, spicy reds are the kings here: herbal, powerful with ripe fruit and nicely spicy, brambly notes and peppery features in the Northern Rhône. Syrah contributes to much character and richness as a blending partner in the Southern Rhône.

Thanks to its versatility Syrah can make wines of great intensity bursting with fruit and oak also in warmer wine regions such as California, South Africa, Central Italy, and Australia.

Top 5 Best Syrah Wines 2021

1. Domaine Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Ampodium

Domaine Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Ampodium Best Syrah

Ampodium is René Rostaing’s signature wine and is made from 13 different parcels of grapes from 40 years’ old vines belonging to the 7.4 hectares of the Domaine across 14 lieux-dits and 20 separate plots on the steep slopes of Côte Rôtie. Encouraging low yields in the vineyards and carrying out the harvest manually the focus here is on absolute quality.

The result is a magnificent silky Côte Rôtie Syrah with trademark fruity notes of black currant, blackberry, and plum, smoky bacon aromas, and elegant richness. The grapes used to make Domaine Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Ampodium macerate with their skins and ferment with native yeasts giving firm tannic structure and deep color.

If you are looking for intensity with smoky tones on a spicy and well-integrated tannic base that’s your wine.

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2. Duemani Suisassi Syrah

Duemani Suisassi Syrah

Suisassi Duemani comes from an uncontaminated territory on the Tuscan coast in Italy. Here on stony and not particularly rich soils, the warm temperatures create the ideal climate to ripen Syrah grapes. With a maturation in French oak barrique followed by 18 months of aging in bottle, this wine is made with artisanal methods observing the company’s production philosophy based on organic wines and biodynamic practices.

With a complex and powerful nose of red berries, violet, dark plum, and cherry jam, leather and velvet tannins with light pepper, coffee, and dark chocolate notes on the palate this Syrah is smooth and rich in freshness and structure. A red gem to be discovered.

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3. Stéphane Pichat Côte Rôtie Champon’s Syrah

Stéphane Pichat Côte Rôtie Champon’s Syrah

Côte Rôtie Champon’s by Stéphane Pichat is a small wonder well known to Syrah enthusiasts. A Côte Rôtie with a strong personality thanks to its blend of 98% Syrah and 2% Viognier resulting in a wine a deeper colour and a silkier texture.

It expresses an intense nose of clear red fruit, red plum, red berries, and rose. The palate gives bold berry fruit accompanied by aromas of coffee, a touch of licorice, and hints of oak with peppery touches that make it fresh.

A wine with an intense and at the same time balanced aromatic profile, lots of flavors amidst peppery notes.

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4. L’Appel des Sereines Syrah

L'Appel des Sereines Syrah

A 100 % peppery and juicy Syrah from vines on granite soil in Saint-Michel-sur-Rhône, located south of Condrieau appellation. The intense fruity and spicy aromas of this Syrah, obtained thanks to a twelve-day maceration with twenty-five percent whole clusters in open-top wood vats followed by eleven months of aging, do not affect its elegance and finesse.

Long, rich red berry fruit with pleasant tannins, overflowing notes of plums and violets, and fine herbal spiciness in the finish. The character of Syrah in a Vin de France has nothing to envy to its most renowned Northern Rhône appellations.

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5. Xavier Vignon SM

Xavier Vignon SM

The winemaker legend Xavier Vignon has outdone himself with this cuvée. This Côtes du Rhône S.M. cuvée was given 94 points by the greatest wine critic Robert Parker.

An intense and complex cuvée made from ancient vines of Syrah (60 years) from Northern Rhône Valley and Grenache (more than 80 years) from Southern Rhône Valley.

This wine offers a full-bodied, voluptuous, and deep dark red, with intense fruit aromas of blackberries, black cherries, plums, spices, and herbs. Balanced, fresh, persistent, fruity, and ripe tannins in a bottle worth to be tasted.

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Learn more about Syrah

The differences between French Syrah and Australian Shiraz are not simply determined – as it is obvious – by the environmental and climatic differences of the two places – essential factors that still contribute to the personality of wine – but also to the style of vinification adopted in the two countries. 

In France, and in particular, in the Rhone Valley, Syrah is in most cases vinified in purity, rarely adding Viognier, while in Australia this grape, in addition to being vinified in purity, is often combined with Cabernet Sauvignon, another famous international grape. However, it should be noted that in the south of France – and particularly in Languedoc-Roussillon, Syrah is normally vinified with Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, and Cinsaut. 

When vinified alone, the Syrahs of the Rhône Valley tend to develop aromas that are directly reminiscent of black pepper – a characteristic that often distinguishes wines produced with this grape – and spices in general, while in Australia they generally have aromas and flavors of fruit, ripe and jam as well as chocolate.

It is worth mentioning that many winemakers in the Rhône Valley claim the existence of two distinct qualities of Syrah, capable of producing wines with their own organoleptic characteristics. They argue that Syrah can actually be classified into two varieties depending on the size of the berries: Petite Syrah, with the smallest berries, and Grosse Syrah, with larger berries and a lower concentration of phenolic substances. However, it should be noted that this Petite Syrah, has got no varietal relationship with the Petite Sirah known in North and South America. 

Syrah is a grape that easily tends to overproduce and in this case, just like Merlot, it produces wines with light colors and rather neutral flavors. The production of quality wines with Syrah grapes therefore requires very strict cultivation practices and, above all, criteria of low yields per hectare.

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