Sangiovese, Syrah, Shiraz. What are they? Where are they grown? Can they be blended?
You may or may not be surprised how many people ask whether Sangiovese is the same grape as Shiraz.. I know…it sounds crazy but why should we be surprised? Shiraz is the most planted grape in Australia and Sangiovese is only an up and coming variety.
So here is the goss. Sangiovese and Shiraz ARE different grapes.
Syrah and Shiraz though? SAME GRAPE!!
Very quick summary: French refer to the varietal as Syrah. New world countries like Australia, South America, New Zealand and the USA call it Shiraz.
The name isn’t the only difference. The style and character are also different. Syrah is more elegant with more complexity. Shiraz is fruitier and less layered. Jammy characters come through with Shiraz. Peppery, softer fruit characters are indicative of the Syrah style. Cooler climate shiraz (syrah), will be plum-like, smoky, and peppery.
Sangiovese however? Completely different. It originates in Italy and produces a tart cherry, strawberry nose and develops into a leathery, tobacco, smokey, dried herbs style of wine. It’s the most widely planted grape in italy. It is known as a savoury wine. Shiraz however, is known as a fruit driven wine.
Like Shiraz, it adapts really well to different terroirs and can change its ‘shape’ depending on what style it is making. It can be earthy and rustic like a Chianti Classico which exhibits lots of dried herbs and grippy tannins or a fruit forward sangiovese like the Sensi “Collezione” Sangiovese Toscana.
Sangiovese is also a really food friendly wine. So is Syrah. Shiraz can be a little too high in alcohol and really heavy so best to enjoy with cheese.
So there you go…there IS a difference between Sangiovese and Shiraz… and another difference between Syrah and Shiraz.
Whats the best Sangiovese you have ever tried?
Whats the best Shiraz you have ever tried?
Whats the best Syrah you have ever tried?
Recommendation: Try this Super Tuscan, the Sensi ‘Mantello’ Sangiovese Shriaz. As it sounds, it’s an incredible blend between Sangiovese and Shriaz and just so happens to be one of my all time favourites!
Sensi “Mantello” Sangiovese/Shiraz IGT
Mantello is a blend of two strong and elegant kind of grapes, Sangiovese and Shiraz that, after a separate fermentation, are blended to be aged in oak barrels, for at least six months, obtaining a perfect balance between any fine aromas of tobacco, spices, vanilla, velvet tannins and blackberry fruits, exalted by a full-bodied and wrapping taste which shows the character of this unique super-tuscan wine.