51 Syrahs in the test:

Australia/South Africa triumph, French disappoint

Colorful platform, but without French

In the big Syrah/Shiraz tasting, the French are the big losers. Australia and South Africa triumph. And Switzerland? Sosolala.

the question for the syrah tasting, like most of the big sunday view tastings, was pretty simple: can the swiss syrahs keep up with the best in the world? The answer: no clear yes or no. because in the top ten are just two swiss. although the domestic grown with 25 almost half of the 51 wines blind tasted by the ten-headed professional jury in the restaurant Carlton in Zurich. Naturally, in overwhelming quantity the Valais, enriched with a few Vaudois and the only real German Swiss from the Bundner herrschaft. On the one hand, there is the unexpected second place of syrah terra solis of serge diserens of domaine les moines in villeneuve vd.

the man hovers between two worlds: in Vaud he cultivates mainly chasselas, and because his demands for red wine went beyond what the terroir in villeneuve gives, he expanded his production in Valais: to leytron for the bordeaux varieties and to saillon for syrah. There are the vines for his terra solis, a syrah that he ages for 30 months in barriques. At 89 CHF, it is the most expensive swiss syrah. And it is rare and the current 2017 vintage is out of stock. but the 18 soon comes on the market. on the other side of the price scale is the surprise number two of the price / performance winner: the syrah of the cave la romaine of joel and edith briguet and cellar master vincent tenud. 32 CHF costs the reserve of the team, which created in flanthey vs with the clos de tsampehro wines that belong to the swiss nonplusultra. The top ten ranking is surprising in that the iconic syrahs of the country such as cayas, mercier, maye, mathier, cornulus and co. Had no chance of making the top ten.

the performance of swiss wines legitimizes the question: are they allowed to claim to be able to compete with the syrahs from france, australia and south africa? This answer is easy to give: yes! Because the tasters of parker have already rated the best swiss syrahs with 94, 95 points. But above all, there is a geographical reason why the comparison is legitimate. Because the rhone rises from the rhone glacier in the upper Valais. And it is the Rhone on whose banks the world’s best Syrah vineyards are grouped. From north to south with the appellation cote rotie near saint-etienne via cornas near valence to the hermitage sites near orange. The grape variety, which is a natural cross between mondeuse blanche and dureza, probably comes from the rhône valley in France. But a the guideline for the selection were 100 parker points meanwhile equally important expression it has experienced under the name shiraz in australia and south africa, partly also in the usa.

also in italy and spain it enjoys ever greater popularity. the sudlander were despite prices up to 150 CHF in this tasting without a chance. Because the guiding principle for the selection were 100 parker points. 6 of the 26 selected belong to the circle, at least once the maximum number of points of the world’s most important wine critics organization to have taken home. This also applies to winner run rig from torbreck vintners. Master of wine ivan barbic classifies the grape variety, which is on the rise worldwide. Currently it is number six in terms of vine flat: there are few red wine varieties that can produce such complex, balanced and storable red wines.

"A Syrah can be the perfect wine for a Christmas roast"

Alain Kunz, Blick Wine Expert

so the level of the tasting was expectedly enormous. Barbic: some participants, both from the old and the new world, belong to the category of the very best red wines on this planet. Even host and wine academic markus segmuller could hardly believe the level of this tasting. It was unbeatably high! It doesn’t get much higher than that … What stood out in addition to the performance of the Swiss: the highly decorated French from the northern Rhône Valley had no chance!

best still did the hermitage les bessards of delas. And this was not because the French were much leaner than their competition from the new world and therefore went down. Almost all the jurors found the iconic French wines to be quite muscular! Thus, the cult wine cote rotie la mordoree from chapoutier did not even make it into the top 25. besides syrah-koryphae australia, sud africa is the big winner of the tasting: the winemakers from the cape, like those from down under, were able to place three waxes in the top ten, two on the shared third place. This may come as a surprise to outsiders. For insiders who know the quality of the top wines from the cape, however, it is only logical. Weh was full of praise for the sudafrican representatives: the country has built up a super competence for syrah over the last few years. Because the grape variety fits fantastically well with the climate there and the vegetation process and delivers much more consistent qualities than cabernet sauvignon. the nice: you can find very varied shiraz, but above all they are sparkling.

a syrah can be the perfect wine to go with a hearty christmas roast (or fondue chinoise). If the foreign wines tasted (with the exception of de trafford’s elevation 393 from sudafrica in third place and haan’s prestige from australia in fifth place) were were too expensive: in the top 25 there are many swiss syrahs, whose prices range from 25 to 55 CHF. And they are all top! You will still hear a lot from the Swiss syrahs.

Report by Sonntags Blick – Edition of 5 December 2021: Alain Kunz, Blick wine expert


1st Run Rig

Torbreck Vintners,
Australia 2018


8.13/20 points
188.50 CHF


Great red berry aromatics, freshness without end, slightly zingy, an absolute fruit bomb! Eucalyptus, power, popping yet drinkable, ethereal, super long. Powerful!

2. Syrah Terra Solis

Domaine Serge Diserens
Les Moines, VD 2018


17.93/20 points
89 CHF (sold out. 2018 vintage coming in January 2022)

Currant, very intense fruit aromas, underbrush, cinnamon, clove, gingerbread, deep, right tannins, power, herbs, nice finish.

3. Elevation 393

De Trafford, Südafrika

17.80/20 points
55 (instead of 69) CHF


Great spicy nose, fruit rocking between red and black, espresso, tobacco, herbal-medicinal, enormously fresh, full-bodied, soft, juicy, long finish.



Shiraz 393 – 2018

CHF 47.00 instead of CHF 59.00

3. Single Vineyard

Rust en Vrede, Südafrika


17.80/20 points
99 (instead of 129) CHF


Total power on the nose, lots of black fruit, especially chriesi, balanced, slightly earthy, mouthfilling, modern but not over-concentrated, elegant, wonderful finish.



Single Vineyard Shiraz – 2016

CHF 99.00 statt CHF 129.00

5. Bin 150 Marananga

Penfolds, Australien 2018

17.78/20 points
74 CHF

Expansive ethereal nose, lots of red fruit that comes across ripe, tremendous freshness, has power and depth, structure is near perfect, hibiscus, elegance and great length.

5. Shiraz Prestige

Haan Estate, Australia

17.78/20 points
39.90 CHF

Very red berry, fruit sweetness, seems warm but also medicinal-eucalyptic, almost tending towards kitsch, wormwood tones, right tannins, long red-fruity finish.

7th Schist Syrah


Mullineux, South Africa 2018

17.77/20 points
109 (instead of 119) CHF


Great deep and highly complex nose with dark fruit, especially black cherries, also coffee notes from the wood, super juicy, elegant, wonderfully drinkable, nice finish.



Roundstone Syrah – 2018

CHF 109.00 instead of CHF 119.00

8. Eddie’s Patch

DuMOL, Sonoma USA 2017

17.75/20 points
85 CHF


Very deep, red berries like red cherries, pepper, juniper, graphite (pencil), balanced, fragrant, seems noble, melting, velvety, good length.

8. Les Bessards

Delas Frères, Hermitage F 2018 

17.75/20 points
189 CHF

Wonderful fruity nose of plums, but also dried fruit, licorice, stomach bread, spice, depth, lush, power, yet elegant and delicate, balanced, long finish.

10. Syrah Réserve

Cave La Romaine, VS 2019

17.73/20 points
32 CHF

There is a rather restrained nose, floral, herbs, sweetly vinous, soft but firm tannins, round, plums, blackberries, very pleasing, right finish.

11. Les Vieilles Fontaines

Alain Voge, Cornas F 2018

17.65/20 points
89 CHF

12. Clos des Truffiers

Château La Négly, Languedoc F 2017

17.60/20 Punkte
149 CHF

13. Syrah Lux Vina Rhône Saga

Domaines Chevaliers, VS 2018

17.58/20 Punkte
55 CHF

13. La Chapelle

Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Hermitage F 2018

17.58/20 Punkte
275 CHF

15. Château d’Ampuis

E.Guigal, Côte Rôtie F 2017

17.53/20 Punkte
ca. 100 CHF

15. Vin Noir

Domaine du Tunnel, Cornas F 2019

75 CHF

17. Syrah Vieilles

Simon Maye et Fils, VS 2019

17.50/20 Punkte
39 CHF

18. Syrah S

Cave des Rois Fam. Grognuz, VD 2018

17.48/20 Punkte
46.45 CHF

18. tapa pasS

Henschke, Australien 2017

17.48/20 Punkte
89 CHF

20. Syrah 1er Cru L’Intégrale

Domaine Les Hutins, GE 2019

17.45/20 Punkte
32 CHF

20. Syrah Diego

Nouveau Salquenen, VS 2019

17.45/20 Punkte
31 CHF

20. Syrah

Orlaya, VS 2019

17.45/20 Punkte
25 CHF

20. Syrah

Denis und Madeleine Mercier, VS 2019

17.45/20 Punkte
50 CHF

20. Rall Ava

Rall Wines, Südafrika 2019

17.45/20 Punkte
75 CHF

17.77/20 points
109 (instead of 119) CHF


A deep color, quite a powerful bouquet, a very floral bouquet with iodine, notes of cassis, white pepper and cloves. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins, black fruits, cloves and white pepper.

Rall Wine

AVA Syrah – Rarity – 2019

CHF 75.00

20. Per Sempre

Tua Rita, Suvereto, Toskana 2018

17.45/20 points
159 CHF