wine-searcher.com / Durif – Shiraz Wine
Durif – Shiraz is a red-wine blend used mostly in Australia and in California, where the varieties go by the names of Petite Sirah and Syrah respectively. New World expressions of Syrah are known for their aromas of blueberries, chocolate, licorice, black pepper and eucalyptus. When paired with Durif, these gain added depth, as the flavors move towards the dark-fruit spectrum (blackberry and boysenberry). Tannins are generally high in these rich, textural wines.
The majority of Durif – Shiraz wines are distinctly New World affairs, and are made predominantly in two of the most important wine-producing countries outside of Europe. However, in the United States the blend is known by its old world names, giving the slightly more poetic «Petite Sirah – Syrah». Paso Robles producer Hunt Cellars took advantage of this, naming their version of this blend «Que Sirah Syrah». Arguably the most notable individual wine made from this blend (albeit with just a small amount of Petite Sirah) is «Relentless» from Shafer Cellars – named Wine of the Year 2012 by the Wine Spectator.
The blend is typically used to make robust, full-bodied table wines, but there are a few Australian producers using it to create idiosyncratic sparkling wines. The handful of sparkling wines made from this blend are slightly sweet, due to the addition of fortified wine to enhance the flavors and strength of the overall wine. Some examples are released as vintage wines and are easily capable of cellaring for up to a decade.
Combining Shiraz with Durif is made all the more interesting (and slightly incestuous) by the fact that DNA profiling shows that Durif is one of Syrah’s parent varieties.
Food matches for Durif – Shiraz wines include:
- Blood sausage with rice (morcilla)
- Rogan josh
- Chilean beef and sweetcorn casserole