Syrah is grown throughout the Rhône valley of France and features a wide range of styles, from the mineral and tannic nature of Hermitage in the north, to the fruity and perfumed wines from Côte-Rôtie in the south.
The grape’s small clusters and small berries produce juice with concentrated flavors and significant tannin. The Syrah grape itself is thick-skinned and dark, almost black.
Syrah first appeared as a wine grape in California in the 1970s, where it was planted by a group of viticulturists who called themselves “Rhône Rangers.” California Syrahs, much like those in France, vary a great deal based on the climate and terroir that they inhabit. In exceptionally warm regions, such as parts of Napa, the wine is often blended with other Rhône varieties. Other appellations, primarily mountainous ones like El Dorado, tend to produce varietal-based wines that can stand on their own, such as the 2013 Stonehaven Vineyard Reserve Syrah.