The 15 Best Syrah & Shiraz You Should Drink in 2022

Syrah/Shiraz
This is our review of the 15 Best Syrah/Shiraz you should drink this year. Enjoy!

Welcome! Have you ever found yourself staring at many Syrah or Shiraz bottles wondering which one you would like best?

We spent a lot of hours researching the topic and tested hundreds of wines to come up with the below 15 best-of list for you.

We have ranked them by quality, region, and value for money and added an extensive buying guide so that you have all you need to make an informed decision.

You don’t have to spend several $100s to get an outstanding bottle of wine.

Choose one of the below bottles and you’ll find quality wines at a competitive price, for all occasions and pockets.

Syrah/Shiraz is a popular red wine known for its dark ruby color, full body, and black fruit flavors. 

The two main styles are Syrah from the “Old World” and Shiraz from the “New World”. 

Syrah has more restrained black fruit flavors with smoky notes. Shiraz has more intense black fruit flavors with spicy notes.

Have you ever found yourself staring at many Syrah/Shiraz bottles wondering which one you would like best?
 
Our best value bottle selection for you is Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz 2018.
 
If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Shafer Relentless.
 
You’ll find the table of content below. Let’s start with the review!
4.5/5

Vivino’s tips: Featured in Vivino’s 2019 Wine Style Awards: Californian Syrah (2012 Vintage)

Region: United States, Napa Valley

Tasting notes: Blackberry, Plum, Oak, Vanilla, Chocolate, Black Truffle, Leather, Licorice, Violet.

The 2012 vintage featured in Vivino’s 2019 Wine Style Awards: Californian Syrah. This is one of the best Syrah you can find.

Aromas of meatiness along with black plum, black pepper, black fig.

Smoke, forest floor and subtle black truffle the mouthfeel is seamless and round from the front of the through the finish.

4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 38% more

Region: Australia, McLaren Vale

Tasting notes:
Blackberry, Plum, Vanilla, Chocolate, Pepper.

It is astounding, so rich and so smooth and so powerful. Succulent berry flavors with luscious chocolate layers as well as licorice and spice.

The deep dark color of the wine matches the deep flavors of the wine.

Here is an extract from the Vivino Editor’s note: “Get Ready To Get “Pure Deliciousness” TKO’d By This HUGE Fan Favorite “The Boxer” Shiraz From a Wine Spectator Top 100 Winery—Now 44% Off While Our Allocation Lasts!”

4.1/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 2 times as much.

Region: Australia, Victoria

Tasting notes: Plum, Blackberry, Cherry, Vanilla, Oak, Chocolate.

It’s not just a very nice Syrah, it offers as well great values for money. Seriously, what else do you need to know?😄

Expect it to be fruitful, and persistent. Some of main flavors you’ll experience are plum, dark fruit, cherry, vanilla, oak, chocolate, and licorice.

4.4/5

Region: United States, Napa Valley

Tasting notes:
Blackberry, Blueberry, Vanilla, Spices.

Super ripe blackberry, vanilla, blueberry, mocha and oak spices gain presence and steadily push the volume past 10.

Tons of ripe, hedonistic fruit brings big stage presence.

4.1/5

Region: United States, Sonoma Coast

Tasting notes: Blueberries, Blackberry, Oak, Chocolate, Pepper.

The fruit is red-toned and quite pretty, with floral and spice overtones that add lift.

Like all of the David Ramey’s, the Rodgers Creek emphasizes fruit over varietal notes, but there is a sense of inner perfume and overall grace that gives the wine an attractive sense of lift.

4.2/5

Vivino’s tips: 2018 vintage rates better than any other year for this wine

Region: United States, Columbia Valley

Tasting notes: Blackberry, Plum, Vanilla, Oak, Cedar.

Elegant smoky tones lead to notes of currant, dried herbs and hints of pepper.

The supple texture is complemented by flavors of cedar and dark fruits.

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 2 times as much.

Region: France, Cornas

Tasting notes: Blackberry, Plum, Leather, Oak, Vanilla, Pepper.

If you love the French style, you must try it. It will blow you away! Be quick, as at this price point it will go fast! 

It has deep ruby with purple highlights. It is red and black fruits, spices and licorice. Tannic and very structured.

4/5

Region: Italy, Toscana

Tasting notes: Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Tobacco, Coffee, Violet.

If you are new to the Syrah Italian style, have a go with this one, you’ll be pleased!

Complex and earthy texture of ground coffee, cocoa bean mocha, wooden Tuscan cigar box, fresh mint; red fruits and Mediterranean herbs and flowers.

4.3/5

Region: Spain, Campo de Borja

Tasting notes: Black Cherry, Dark Berries, Licorice, Vanilla, Leather, Spice.

This Syrah is just great, and for this price is a bargain!

In the word of the Vivino Editor’s note: “You’ve Sipped Your Share of Spanish Grenache—Now’s Your Chance to Sample the Country’s Sensational Syrah! From a Spectator Top 100 Producer Going for Less Than 25 Bucks!”

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: 92 points by Wine Spectator

Region: Australia, Langhorne Creek

Tasting notes: Blueberry, Plum, Vanilla, Cream, Chocolate, Coffee, Spice.

Reminds of taking a bite from a blueberry muffin. A mouthful full of rich, creamy vanilla followed by an explosion of blueberries.

A powerful wine with vibrant dark berry fruits, plum, and chocolate cream.

A silky texture is laced with luscious layers of fresh fruit, spice, coffee and a seamless finish that lasts for eternity.

4.2/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 75% more. 

Region: South Africa, Citrusdal Mountain

Tasting notes: Red fruit, Cherry, Mulberry, Oak, Vanilla, Spice.

It is filled with intense red fruit, mulberry and cherries on the nose.
 
Well-balanced with elegant oaking expressing hints of sweet spice and vanilla.
 
Red berries follow through on the palate and finishes off with a smooth lingering sensation.
4.1/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 70% more.

Region: Chile, Casablanca Valley

Tasting notes: Dark Cherry, Tobacco, Cedar, Violet, Lavender.

Bright purple in color. On the nose lifted floral notes of lavender, violets and tobacco predominate followed up by lashings of black pepper, bramble and Turkish delight.

In the mouth dark cherry and savory cedar and tar flavors combine with fresh acidity and crisp tannins leading to a long, vibrant finish.

4.1/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 60% more.

Region: France, Minervois La Livinière

Tasting notes: Blackberry, Dark Fruit, Cherry, Smoke, Vanilla, Leather.

Are you new to Syrah and don’t know where to start from? Easy, start with this one!

Spicy dark fruits, ground pepper, wild herbs, and hints of olive to go with a medium bodied, rich palate feel.

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 77% more.

Region: Portugal, Douro

Tasting notes: Black Fruit, Cherry, Oak, Vanilla, Chocolate, Leather, Licorice, Violet.

This wine shows complex aromas, with well-integrated fruit and oak notes and a hint of spice.

Intense and deep on the palate, it is well balanced by the firm structure of the tannins and delivers a long and lingering finish.

4.6/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 2 times as much.

Region: France, Hermitage

Tasting notes: Black Fruits, Prune, Leather, Sweet Spice, Oak, Tobacco, Licorice, Violet.

Here is an extract from the Vivino Editor’s note: “A Rare and Exceptional Ex-Château Library Release of The Northern Rhône’s Most Iconic Syrah—Pristine, Perfectly Aged and Ready to Drink”

Intense ruby red, limpid and bright. Highly complex, distinguished nose, revealing the great finesse.

Black fruits, sweet spices and, ultimately, finely woody. It is shaped by nature, the sun and the rain.

That’s why every year, this wine is unique. Discover, vintage by vintage, that gave us this land.

Buying Guide to Syrah and Shiraz

It’s not just about which Syrah and Shiraz you should buy. There are other important aspects like how to serve it, food pairings, and much more.

The below buying guide will give you a detailed overview of all these topics.

Syrah Main Regions and Alcohol Content

Here you find an overview of Syrah’s alcohol content and where it is most commonly planted.

Grape

Syrah

ABV

13%–15.5%

Main Regions

France: Rhône Valley

Other Regions

Argentina
Chile
Italy: Tuscany, Sicily
Spain
USA: California, Washington

Grape

Syrah

ABV

13%–15.5%

Main Regions

France: Rhône Valley

Other Regions

Argentina
Chile
Italy: Tuscany, Sicily
Spain
USA: California, Washington

What Does Syrah Taste Like?

These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of Syrah.

Color

Deep Ruby to Purple

Nose

Violet
Herbaceous
Blackberry, Blueberry
Spice
Chocolate

Palate

Black Fruit
Smoked Flavors,
Tobacco, Licorice
Dry to Off-Dry
Medium-High Acidity
Medium-High Tannins
Full Body

Color

Deep Ruby to Purple

Nose

Violet
Herbaceous
Blackberry, Blueberry
Spice
Chocolate

Palate

Black Fruit
Smoked Flavors,
Tobacco, Licorice
Dry to Off-Dry
Medium-High Acidity
Medium-High Tannins
Full Body

Syrah Food Pairings

These are some food pairing suggestions for Syrahs.

Appetizer

Pasta with Veal Ragu,
Grilled Vegetables,
Onion,
Mushroom

Meat

Game, Duck, Stews, Veals

Fish

Chargrilled Ahi

Cheese

Semi-Hard (Cheddar),
Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola)

Appetizer

Pasta with Veal Ragu,
Grilled Vegetables,
Onion,
Mushroom

Meat

Game, Duck, Stews, Veals

Fish

Chargrilled Ahi

Cheese

Semi-Hard (Cheddar),
Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola)

Serve and Store Syrah

Here you find some useful tips on how to serve and store Syrah.

Decant

1 - 2 hrs

Glass

Bordeaux

Serve at

59 - 64 °F
15 - 18 °C

Store for

Up to 5 years
10+ years finest bottles only

Decant

1 - 2 hrs

Glass

Bordeaux

Serve at

59 - 64 °F
15 - 18 °C

Store for

Up to 5 years
10+ years finest bottles only

Shiraz Main Regions and Alcohol Content

Here you find an overview of Shiraz’s alcohol content and where it is most commonly planted.

Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

ABV

13%–15.5%

Main Regions

Australia: Barossa and Hunter Valley

Other Regions

South Africa

Grape

Shiraz

ABV

13%–15.5%

Main Regions

Australia: Barossa and Hunter Valley

Other Regions

South Africa

What Does Shiraz Taste Like?

These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of Shiraz.

Color

Deep Ruby to Purple

Nose

Violet
Herbaceous
Blackberry, Blueberry
Spice
Chocolate

Palate

Black Fruit
Pepper,
Tobacco, Licorice
Dry to Off-Dry
Medium-High Acidity
Medium-High Tannins
Full Body

Color

Deep Ruby to Purple

Nose

Violet
Herbaceous
Blackberry, Blueberry
Spice
Chocolate

Palate

Black Fruit
Pepper,
Tobacco, Licorice
Dry to Off-Dry
Medium-High Acidity
Medium-High Tannins
Full Body

Shiraz Food Pairings

These are some food pairing suggestions for Syrah/Shiraz.

Appetizer

Pasta with Veal Ragu,
Grilled Vegetables,
Onion,
Mushroom

Meat

BBQ Ribs, Burger, Grilled Beef and Lamb

Fish

Chargrilled Ahi

Cheese

Semi-Hard (Cheddar),
Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola)

Appetizer

Pasta with Veal Ragu,
Grilled Vegetables,
Onion,
Mushroom

Meat

BBQ Ribs, Burger, Grilled Beef and Lamb

Fish

Chargrilled Ahi

Cheese

Semi-Hard (Cheddar),
Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola)

Serve and Store Shiraz

Here you find some useful tips on how to serve and store Shiraz.

Decant

1 - 2 hrs

Glass

Bordeaux

Serve at

59 - 64 °F
15 - 18 °C

Store for

Up to 5 years
10+ years finest bottles only

Decant

1 - 2 hrs

Glass

Bordeaux

Serve at

59 - 64 °F
15 - 18 °C

Store for

Up to 5 years
10+ years finest bottles only

Syrah & Shiraz Useful Insight

Whilst for New World wine varietal labeling is used, e.g. Shiraz, for the French wines, under AOC rules [1], the name of the place is used, e.g. Hermitage.

To know which Syrah/Shiraz style you are about the drink, just look at the name on the label. Syrah will be the Old World style whilst Shiraz will be the New World style.

Oak maturation is common for Syrah/Shiraz and it used to reduce tannins and add tertiary flavors.

The finest bottles can edge for a decade and develop more complex flavors of leather, meat, and earth

Our Verdict

Syrah/Shiraz is a popular red wine known for its dark ruby color, full body and black fruit flavors. 

Syrah has more restrained black fruit flavors with smoky notes. Shiraz has more intense black fruit flavors with spicy notes.

If you have been through the buying guide, you should have a pretty good idea of how to navigate the Syrah/Shiraz world.
 
At the same time, you have probably realized by now, that there’s a huge selection, many styles, and various price points.
 
The good news is that you can get very high quality usually at a good price if you know where to look!
 
That’s why proper guidance comes in handy. We hope our guide was helpful in this regard.
 
Our best value bottle selection for you is Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz 2018. If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Shafer Relentless.
 
As always, make sure to serve your Cabernet Sauvignon at the right temperature and with the proper glass.

What to do next?

Be sure to serve your Syrah/Shiraz at the right temperature. 

Read our wine tasting guide to enhance your tasting experience and taste like the pro!

Alternatively, why don’t you check out our guides on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or the other red wines?

FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Syrah/Shiraz.

What does Syrah/Shiraz mean?

No one knows for sure where does the name Syrah/Shiraz comes from. There are though two theories:

  • It might be named after the Iranian city of Shiraz.
  • It might be named after the Italian city of Syracuse, once a powerful city under the Greek domination in 400 BC.

What is Syrah/Shiraz history?

How old and from where Syrah/Shiraz grape originated exactly is still a mystery.

An ancient script from Pliny, dated AD 77, mentions a dark-skinned grape variety. The same description could though also fit for the Dureza grape [2].

We though know that there’s a long documented history in the Rhone region in France. Today’s finest bottles are still from this area.

In the 1830s the grape arrived in Australia where it is now the most planted grape in the country.

In early 2000, Syrah/Shiraz was estimated to be the world’s 7th most grown grape.

Where does Syrah/Shiraz grow best?

Syrah/Shiraz gives its best in a moderate to cool climate, eg France: Rhône Valley. It is though as well cultivated in warm climates too, e.g. Australia.

When is the perfect time to drink Syrah/Shiraz?

If you have organized a BBQ or have been invited to one, Syrah/Shiraz is your best bet. It will complement perfectly with ribs, burgers, and any other braised or roasted meats.

Is Syrah/Shiraz sweet?

Syrah/Shiraz is not a sweet wine. You can generally find it dry or off dry.

A dry wine contains less than 15 g/L, or sugar per liter. An off dry wine contains between 15-30 g/l.

Learn more about wine sweetness level here.

When is the International Syrah/Shiraz day?

The 16th of February is the International Syrah/Shiraz Day.

What are the differences between Syrah vs Shiraz?

Syrah and Shiraz are two different names for the same grape that though produces different styles.

  • Syrah is the name used in France and for the “Old World” wine style. It usually has higher acidity, higher tannins, herbaceous and earthy notes, moderate fruit components with tertiary smoke flavors.

  • Shiraz is the name used in Australia and for the “New World” wine style. It usually is easier to drink with fewer tannins, higher in alcohol, intense black fruit aromas, with tertiary spice (black pepper) flavors.

Why are the grapes used for the finest Syrah wines are still hand-picked?

In France, the grapes used for the finest wines are still hand-picked. This is because they grow on very steep, stony slopes which give complex and peppery flavors.

Examples are Côte Rotie, Hermitage and Northern Rhône.

Why is Hermitage famous?

Hermitage is the wine that made Syrah famous in the world.

It’s known for its excellence and it’s produced in France on a hill above Tain-l’Hermitage in the northern Rhône.

“ça va sans dire”, i.e. it goes without saying, it’s one of the most expensive Syrah you can find.

Are Petit Syrah and Syrah related?

Yes they are. Just to confuse you a little more, this grape is not a little version of the Syrah.

“Petit” means “small” in English, but it’s rather a descendant of the Syrah and Peloursin grape [3].

Is Syrah/Shiraz used for blend?

Syrah/Shiraz is also used as blending grape and generally with Grenache grapes [4]. Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and Gigondas are typical examples.

What’s Syrah/Shiraz's typical price range?

Price can vary considerably and these are purely indicative prices. Like Pinot Noir, expect a higher price for certain areas in France.

The good news though is that you can find in any case good entry-level Syrah at $20-$40 and Shiraz at $10-$30 a bottle.

  • $10-$20 Chile and South Africa.
  • $10-$30 Australia.
  • $20-$40 California.
  • France:
    • $20-$40 Rhône Valley, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint Joseph.
    • $200-$800 Côte Rotie and Hermitage. As always, if you have some spare cash you can try a Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage ‘Cuvee Cathelin’  for $8’000+.

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