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Walls: Why Syrah is the most adaptable grape in the world

Matt Walls explores the global reach of the famous Rhône grape variety, finding truly outstanding examples from around the globe in South Africa, the USA, Lebanon and New Zealand. Here he discusses Syrah's many guises and selects six wines worth seeking out.

Some grapes are homebodies. They don’t like to travel, preferring to stay close to their place of birth. Others are happy to explore far-flung lands, even to settle and establish new colonies.

Syrah, however, is a peerlessly adept traveller, a free-spirited polyglot happy to set down roots in countless wine regions around the world. It is the most adaptable of all great red grapes – a vital quality in a changing world.

Scroll down for Matt Walls’ tasting notes and scores of six Syrahs from around the world

Expanding horizons

Grape varieties tend to reach their heights of expression in their home region, heights that are rarely surpassed elsewhere. This is certainly true with Syrah. The very best are still to be found in the Northern Rhône.

But, truly outstanding examples are now made in the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Chile… even Germany. And in multiple regions within all of these countries.

See tasting notes and scores of six Syrahs from around the world worth seeking out

You might also be interested in…

California Syrah: Matthew Luczy’s report

Barossa Shiraz: St Hallett Wines producer profile

South African Syrah: 30 great buys

South American Syrah: panel tasting

Rhône Syrah: Delas’ Hermitage Ligne de Crète

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