Wine folks used to say that if the bottle said syrah, it would be northern Rhone in style — elegant yet powerful, ageable, with well balanced fruit, tannin and acid. Whereas, if it was called shiraz, the wine would be Aussie style — exuberant red fruit, even a bit jammy due to the relentless southern sun. That handy (and oversimplified) categorization really is not useful anymore. syrah/ shiraz rocks to the beat of its own drummer. This year’s top five includes wines from south Australia and the Barossa valley, Chile, Oregon and the Okanagan, fast becoming known for highest quality, idiosyncratic syrah. Vive la difference. Mary Bailey


Langmeil 2014 Valley Floor Shiraz
Barossa Valley, Australia
$26-28 CSPC 564450







Montgras Antu 2014 Syrah
Colchagua, Chile
$18-20 CSPC 80275







Twill Cellars 2013 Syrah
Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States
$32-35 CSPC 787037






Bench 1775 2014 Syrah
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$24-26 CSPC 775454






Peter Lehmann 2013 Futures Shiraz
Barossa Valley, Australia
$26-28 CSPC 712858






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