|Image courtesy WineWithMe Blog|
“Conversely, the best American syrahs, in my opinion, are made by producers who have been inspired by the great traditionalists of the northern Rhône,” he said.
"Another is that Syrah has not yet developed a dominant style that people can expect when they are picking out an unfamiliar bottle. There is considerable consumer confusion about what Syrah "is". On one hand, you have the French creating terrior-driven wines of highly developed style at relatively low alcohols. Then, the Aussies pop up with Shiraz, made in an over-extracted. boozy, blueberry fruitbomb style. Zinfandel has become successful despite being made in a very wide range of styles. Unfortunately, having two very different styles of Syrah as global benchmarks creates a confused consumer base.
"I've been to the Rhone and sat down for a lovely dinner during the harvest of 1995 with Yves Cuilleron. There are some EXCELLENT wines being made over there. However, at that time, the competitive aspect of the success of the New World had not been comprehended in France and there were notable producers who were making wines that were seriously flawed with overly suphured and burnt match aspects. The best were really the best of breed (think Brune-et-Blonde from Guigal) and the worst were equivalent to the worst stuff coming out of Ceres.
"The future of Syrah is all about fruit and getting that fruit - with the smoky meat, pepper and berry aspects that mark the variety - into the bottle,” Owen said.
"Who determines what is a great Syrah? I maintain that many judges at competitions do not know a great Syrah from a big high alcohol wine from a warm region in California!”
Celebrating SyrahDay, two special blogs about Syrah and the Sierra Foothills!