Syrah, often known as Shiraz (Persian spelling), is an Iranian grape variety. Some historians doubt the notion that this winegrape was brought to the Rhône Valley in France during the Middle Ages. In any case, it is presently mostly produced in Australia and the United States. Although the ripe fruit can be very sweet, Syrah is a red dry wine (the fruit taste resembles blueberry or blackberry). Because of the wine-making process, the sweetness of the fruit does not affect the flavor.
The climate where the grapes are grown influences the style and flavor profile of Syrah wines, with moderate climates (such as the northern Rhone Valley and parts of the Walla Walla AVA in Washington State) producing medium to full-bodied wines with medium-plus to high levels of tannins and notes of blackberry, mint, and black pepper. Syrah is more consistently full-bodied in hot climes (such as Crete and Australia's Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale areas), with softer tannin, jammier fruit, and spice aromas of licorice, anise, and earthy leather. The acidity and tannin levels of Syrah wines produced in many places to have good age potential.