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South American Syrah: Panel tastings results

With wines from Chile, Argentina and Brazil earning top scores, there is quality and consistency in South American Syrah – though still potential for the category to grow, too.

Alistair Cooper MW, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW and Peter Richards MW tasted 79 wines with four outstanding and 15 highly recommended.

Entry criteria: Producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release, single-varietal (85% minimum) Syrahs from any South American region.

The verdict

Chile dominated this South American tasting, accounting for 70% of the wines tasted. While Argentina has the most Syrah vines planted, there were only 18 Argentinian wines submitted. Nonetheless, the results showed the potential of Syrah across the continent, with Outstanding wines from Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

Top scoring South American Syrah wines

See all wines tasted here

The judges

Alistair Cooper MW

Having lived and worked in Chile and Argentina for various wineries, Cooper has been based in the UK since 2006. He writes for Jancis Robinson and Decanter as well as other publications. Currently president of Chile’s Catad’Or Wine Awards, he judges globally and is the global consultant buyer for United Cellars in Sydney.

Dirceu Vianna Junior MW

Originally from Brazil, Vianna studied forest engineering and law, before moving to London, where he began to work in the wine trade in 1990. In 2008, he became the first South American male to obtain the title of Master of Wine. He now works as a wine writer, educator, technical consultant and competition judge.

Peter Richards MW

The Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chair for Chile, Richards is an award-winning broadcaster and writer as well as a leading global authority on Chilean wine. Together with his wife Susie Barrie MW, he co-hosts the Wine Blast podcast as well as the acclaimed Wine Festival Winchester.

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