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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Makes Syrah / Shiraz Peppery?

 One of the distinctive aromas and flavours of Syrah (or Shiraz as the Aussies say), is black pepper.  This is very helpful when you're doing a wine options contest and need to identifiy the variety.  One whiff of fresh ground pepper and you can pretty well nail it as a Syrah/Shiraz.

Now, wine science is filling in the blanks for us with a new study which has identified a chemical compound - rotundone, as the common factor in both the wine and the spice. See here for the New York Times article.

Meanwhile, our own New Zealand Syrah grapes are producing some stunning wines, particularly from Hawkes Bay's Gimblett Gravels appellation region.  Longer and hotter Hawkes bay summers combined with the gravelly red metal soils in the region seem to be a winning combination which makes for full bodied, ripe and fruity reds with silky tannins.  As pictured left - Sacred Hill is a top performer.


Phil runs Food and Wine tours in Auckland New Zealand

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