Syrah is one of the most widely planted wine grape varietals in the world. It has its roots in France and is closely associated with the Rhone Valley. Also grown in Australia and the United States, Syrah tends to thrive wherever it is planted--in cool to moderate to hot climates. Syrah is planted throughout California, and increasingly in Washington State. California Syrah is in general stylistically more closely associated with that of the Rhone Valley, Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cote Du Rhone, and further South in the Languedoc-Roussillon appellation in France, than the Australian Shiraz style, although growing conditions, vine clones, and winemaking practices can in California produce styles of both types. Syrah vineyards planted in California are increasing clonal diversity which the wine from the vineyards benefits from using more recently cleared European clones (compared to earlier clones from Australia).
Syrah expresses differently depending on where it is grown, and so is described as usually containing some smoky flavor and aroma, bacon fat, violets, dark berries, minerality, peppery, chocolate, coffee.