Syrah or Shiraz depending on its origin fits the bill with its bramble driven, black pepper and spice personality.
Its the grape behind the imposing wines of Cotie Rotie and Hermitage in the Northern Rhone. Well established in Australia, you can really pick up on the regional differences between Barossa, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills for example.
It likes a warm climate and so has made in-roads into South Africa, Argentina and Chile and the band of wine makers dubbed the 'Rhone Rangers' highlighted the grape in California.
Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Shiraz or Syrah 2008, 14.5%.Western Victoria Oddbins £12.99
You might be more familiar with the Chapoutier name in the Rhone and now Maison M. Chapoutier is in Australia. This 50 hectare estate produces organically grown grapes.With warm wood smoke and cedar spice, its an elegant balance of forward ripe raspberry and dark berry with soft tannins.
Craggy Range Single Vineyard Block 14 Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.13.5% Oddbins £16.99
The warming gravely soils of the Gimblett Gravels are ideal for Syrah. This packs a savoury punch with complex wood smoke, liquorice and deep bramble aromas. Full bodied and juicy its, soft and well-rounded with a black pepper twist at the finish.
Corralillo Reserve Syrah, 2006, San Antonio, Chile, 14% Oddbins £14.99
This hails from the lovely Matetic Estate. There is such and intensity of blackcurrant puree on the sniff. Full bodied and grown up, the fruit is deliciously juicy and blackcurrant driven with touches of spice.