Ever met a person with two names? Not counting nicknames, I certainly haven’t.
So, I would completely understand if you have ever been baffled by the fact that Shiraz and Syrah are the exact same red wine varietal. Or maybe you never even knew that. The difference has historical roots but in essence, the style of the wine and winemaking dictates when you use Shiraz and when you use Syrah on the label.
The New World, those winemaking countries, such as South Africa, which fall outside of the traditional winemaking countries of France, Spain, Israel, and Croatia (to name but a few), have generally a style that is higher in alcohol, more tannins and typical flavours of plum and black fruit, have adopted the word Shiraz.
Syrah, from the Old World, is generally lower in alcohol with lighter tannins and more pepper, blue fruits with a slight herbaceousness. But over the years the Old World has become less territorial about the use of Syrah and today you can find the name, and style, the world over. Although winemakers argue that stylistically speaking Shiraz and Syrah are not the same, there are no laws governing this distinction, so I think it’s best we steer clear of sweeping generalisations and confusing technicalities!
The Wellington Wine Valley favours Shiraz where the warm North-Western slopes provide us with bold, rich wines and full-bodied wine. The grapes are fruit-forward and therefore use 500L new French Oak for maturation.
Our flagship, La Cave Shiraz received Top 12 status for the 2016 and 2017 vintages – an award we are incredibly proud of!
Made from a single vineyard, the wine was matured for 18 months to deliver a full-bodied mouth-feel with silky tannins and ripe berry fruit, cloves, and oak.
The grapes for the Duke Shiraz is harvested from specific blocks and matured in a combination of 2nd and 3rd fill French oak, wood alternatives, and a portion that is unwooded. The wine is warm and inviting with ripe red berry fruit, smooth, well-structured tannins, and a juicy core.
So how to enjoy our Shiraz? Naturally, this wine varietal favours anything on the braai. The Duke is a great companion for beef or tuna steaks, grilled vegetable or chicken sosaties, and vegetarian or lamb burgers. The La Cave can handle more robust dishes such as rich braised oxtail, vegetarian moussaka, pork belly, or roasted leg of lamb.
We’re dedicating the entire month of July to Shiraz! Join us for a tasting of our wines if you can. If not, make sure by ordering from our online shop now and enjoy later!
Daniel Slabber – Winemaker