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NZ Syrah vs Aus Shiraz | Our killer red wine winner

October 30, 2019

NZ Syrah vs Aus Shiraz | Our killer red wine winner

Just like the sport of rugby and watching the All Blacks vs Wallabies, there’s a noticeable difference in style of play. So here’s our debate...Australian’s (blood-red) Shiraz or New Zealand’s (spookily tasty) Syrah...Shiraz or Syrah.. What’s the difference?! Well, when you dive into the skeleton of the grape - nothing! Their main point of differentiation is purely stylistic, a reflection of unique terroir, coupled with the vintage, viticultural practices, and winemaking techniques. 

In 1832 James Busby brought the first Syrah cuttings into New Zealand and Australia. Shiraz took off in Australia, particularly in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys, but in cool-climate New Zealand, it struggled to ripen (...scary thought!). The grape quickly became abandoned by producers across New Zealand, until Alan Limmer rescued it from the dead! Successful plantings began in Hawke’s Bay, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that producers started unlocking its potential for Syrah – especially in the Gimblett Gravels subregion, an old river bed with deep gravel soils.


New Zealand Syrah


Syrah is a red grape varietal traditionally grown in the Rhône Valley of south-eastern France. Since then it has spread to many regions across the world including California, Argentina, Chile and more recently, South Africa and New Zealand.  Even the boldest of New Zealand Syrah styles are closer to the northern Rhône than the McLaren Vale, generally showing more moderate alcohol levels. Syrah tends to be elegant and complex, featuring a smokey, earthy character with flavors of plum and spicy pepper (...You’d be bat-crazy not to enjoy). New Zealand Syrah tends to emphasize dried-herbs (minus, garlic), mild spices and subtle earthy notes and slightly softer characters due to cold (-blooded), longer growing season found within regions in New Zealand.

New Zealand Syrah Is Predominantly grown in the warmer regions of Auckland, Northland and Hawke’s Bay, which benefit from extended heat accumulation due to lower diurnal temperature variation. Whilst Auckland has clay-rich soils, Hawke’s Bay has a huge diversity of soils with river terraces comprising of volcanic loess, alluvial silts, and deep river gravel.

Our Craggy Range Syrah, 2016 vintage, is one of our favourite treats from Hawke’s Bay! Fresh cherry, floral honeysuckle, lavender notes & black pepper. Silky texture with vibrant blueberry fruit, charcoal & flint. 

Buy now £24.60

New Zealand’s top Syrah regions are Waiheke Island, just 18km from Auckland, and Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of the North Island. The Waiheke wines tend to be richer and more vinous than the fruit-focused wines from Hawke’s Bay.


Dracula’s favourite drink is (apparently) our Seresin Syrah 2016! Lovely spice & red fruit characters, ripe tannins & density that is underpinned by the typical Seresin savoury character. Perfectly matched with a cheeseboard.


Buy now £24.70

Australian Shiraz


Shiraz is an ‘Australianisation’ of the traditional French Syrah. Nowadays it is generally used to denote style - either classic, warm climate South Australian or cooler-climate more ‘old world’ examples from Canberra, Yarra Valley or Tasmania. Shiraz is no vampire, and fully rippens in sunlight, however, the most aromatic, elegant styles are grown in regions with cool nights and high diurnal temperature ranges - such as the Adelaide Hills and the Yarra Valley. In the warmer regions, including the Barossa Valley and Coonawarra, Shiraz shows concentrated jammy, blackberry, and plum fruit flavours.

Australian Shiraz tends to be full-bodied, rich, ripe and fruit-driven - made the Australian way! The style of a true Australian Shiraz is heavy and fruity with a fruity sweetness on the palate.

As your Halloween party go-to, we recommend our Yering Station, Little Yering Shiraz Viognier 2014. This wine features an intoxicating mix of blackberry fruit and Peruvian spices. Subtle yet intriguing lift of rose petal. Fine tannins and a velvet-like finish provide drinkability and longevity.

 Buy now £11.60

South Australia is home to some of the premier Shiraz growing wine regions in Australia including Barossa Valley, Mclaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and the Adelaide Hills. This collection of great wine growing regions has earned South Australia the prestigious title of the ‘Capital of Australia Wine’ and one of the nine Great Wine Capitals of the World. 

Home to S.C.Pannell, the label was established by Steve and wife Fiona in 2004, but Steve's journey to winemaking really dates back to 1969, whereas a toddler he grew up on one of Australia's most iconic boutique wineries, Moss Wood in the Margaret River. S.C.Pannell winery was realized to focus on Stephen’s passion for the McLaren Vale region and its ability to produce dry - grown and environmentally sustainable Shiraz.

Don’t be frightened of the label! Our S.C. Pannell McLaren Vale ‘Field Street’ Shiraz 2016 features violets are coupled with the beautiful perfume of a punnet full of fresh berries. Medium to full-bodied with lovely, earthy tannins. This wine is also certified Vegan!

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this article, why not read our 15 All Black’s vs 15 wine’s Blog, click here to read on!






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