Compagnia Siciliana 1921

Syrah

Syrah or Sirah is one of the so-called “international” grape varieties but its origins are controversial, although they are all quite in agreement that it comes from the areas of ancient Persia, present-day Iran, near the city of Shiraz, hence the name. A legend tells that derived from Syracousai (Syracuse (ancient city)), when the then Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus (III century), linked to the territories of Syria (Roman province) and the revival of the cultivation of the vine, wanted importing local vines directly from Egypt (it is said that it was Cleopatra’s favorite wine) to Gaul, but the vine was instead planted along the way, precisely in the Sicilian city. Some argue that it came from Albania, as there are some genetic affinities with the local Shesh vine, or still other DNA analyzes also have indicators of affinity with the Trentino-Alto Adige vines Teroldego and Lagrein. In France it is widespread above all in the Rhone Valley, in the Côte Rotie, in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in the Ardèche and in the Hermitage. In the new world it expresses itself best especially in the warmer wine regions, such as Australia, South Africa and California. In more recent times it has spread mainly in central and southern Italy. The first evidence of Syrah in Italy in 1800, thanks to the Mantuan Acerbi, one of the most important ampelographers, and at the end of the nineteenth century Syrah was present on almost all Italian tables, even if its greatest diffusion was in Tuscany, where it was mainly used to improve the Chianti. The best Syrahs of Tuscany are inspired by the Côte du Rhône, rich in fruity notes of blackcurrant, blackberry and plum, with sometimes smoky tones on a spicy and measured tannic base. The cultivation of Syrah appears to be more problematic than that of other French vines, due to its sensitivity to water stress, the tendency to over-ripening and the considerable deterioration in the quality of the wine if the yields are too high. On the market it is generally of good organoleptic pleasantness.