What's in a name?

Pronounced Si-rar or She-raz (rhymes with 'Jazz') both of these wines come from the exact same grape grown in completely different climates.
Recent DNA tests pinpointed the birth of the grape to around 2 000 years ago in the Rhône Valley, France. There they make Syrah and it's a relatively lean, complex (spice, cherry, tar, smoke, cassis, plum), earthy, lively (styled with more acidity) wine, typically capable of short to long term bottle ageing.

New World, New Name

That exact same vinestock was taken to Australia and the 'New World' where they called it Shiraz before sharing it with the rest of the New World vintners. It produces rich, ripe, full-bodied wines with intense fruit flavours (plum, blackberry, cherry), as well as hints of black spice. They can also have a higher alcohol content due to longer ripening on the vine before picking and are able to age many years due to the high tannins.

To further complicate things, winemakers in regions with diverse climate and soil types (terroir) have recently begun naming their wines by the expression of flavour rather than some tedious Old World/New World categorisation.

Simply put, if it says Syrah on the bottle it probably tastes like Syrah no matter where it's from. If it says Shiraz, maybe the tasting notes deserve a look before you buy.