Origins and history: – aka Syrah which is what it is normally called in its French home, the Rhône Valley. LOVES the heat and does well in SA, Australia and Southern France. Generally two different styles – elegant and peppery and using French oak (often labelled Syrah), chunky, meaty and with a smoked ham edge to it, usually using sweeter American oak (often labelled Shiraz). Frequently blended with a number of other indigenous Rhône varieties and increasingly partnered by Cabernet Sauvignon as well.
Characteristics: – Dark, brooding, full-bodied red wines with spice, pepper (both white and black kinds) and sometimes cloves. Black berries with some strawberry notes and sometimes meaty, funky, earthy aromas as well.
Famous wines: – Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage (Rhône Valley, France), Penfolds Grange (Australia)
Good Local Examples: – Porcupine Ridge Syrah, Boekenhoutskloof Syrah, Saxenburg Shiraz Select (SSS)
If it was a Person: – Seal