Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Syrah, one of the noblest and most fashionable red wine grapes, if nobility is bestowed by an ability to produce serious red wines capable of ageing majestically for decades and if fashionability is measured by the extent to which new cuttings have been going into the ground all over the world, despite the depredations of syrah decline. So valued was the durability of France’s hermitage, arguably Syrah’s finest manifestation, that many red bordeaux were in the 18th and 19th centuries hermitagé (see adulteration and fraud). And so popular is the variety that in 2010 it was the world’s sixth most planted wine grape of either colour, with a global total of 185,568 ha/458,353 acres.