Syrah/Shiraz was the star varietal of the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards, winning 39 golds and trophies, or 11% of all golds.

Close behind came Cabernet Sauvignon with 33 golds or 9%; and Chardonnay a fraction behind on 30 golds.

While France and Australia dominated the top awards in the Syrah/Shiraz category, there were a few surprises including a Greek Syrah blend from Alpha Estate. The judges described the 2008, as ‘Beautifully structured wine with bramble, oak and pepper on the nose and ripe syrah fruit on the palate. Well integrated, mouthfilling and good length.’

Canada has also got one over the USA in the Syrah category. The Canadians can boast two gold medal winning Syrahs while their neighbours failed to win a top gong. Poplar Grove’s Syrah 2008 from British Columbia impressed the judges with its ‘complex nose and palate’.

And the Niagara region, better known for its icewine, took a gold and regional trophy with a Syrah. Jackson Triggs Delaine Vineyards Syrah 2007 wowed the panel with its ‘sexy oak’ and ‘expressiveness.’

Written by staff