What is Durif?
The colder months call for a red that’s equally deep in flavour and intensity. Durif is the drop you need.
Durif, with all its colour, muscle and power, does strange things to people. It seems to excite a passion that is rarely seen. For some, it is the only wine variety worth drinking. For others, it’s an all-out attack on the senses.
Is Durif for everyone? Maybe not…but neither is 99% cocoa chocolate, heavy metal, remedial massage, or anything else intense!
Durif is now most prolific in Australia and California, it thrives in warmer climates and is a similar weight to Shiraz.
Durif pairs well with rich, high fat foods like casseroles and meaty pastas. It can be cellared for up to 10 years.
Durif is a fuller bodied wine with firm tannins and is the child of Syrah (shiraz).
WHERE IS DURIF FROM?
Durif is a red grape varietal originating from the Rhône Valley in France. It is what you call a natural crossing (like Cabernet Sauvignon).
Its two parent grapes are the little-known Peloursin and the world-famous Shiraz. Both parental varieties are known for making wines that possess intensity, depth and flavour length – something Durif shares.
The variety was discovered in the late 1800’s and was named after its pioneer, Dr. Francois Durif. While it hasn’t travelled as far as its more famed parent Shiraz, it has found a home in California under the guise ‘Petite Sirah’.
DURIF IN AUSTRALIA
Durif was first planted in Australia in the Rutherglen region by pioneering Victorian viticulturalist Francois de Castella in 1908.
It suits warmer and drier climates, so is a natural fit for a number of our inland wine regions.
In the heady days of vast fortified wine production, it was found to be of great use thanks to its ability to ripen with high levels of sugar and tannin. These days, you will most likely see it made into dry red wine, however it is also used as an ingredient in Sparkling red wines.
WHAT ARE THE BEST DURIF REGIONS IN AUSTRALIA?
- Rutherglen is still the region most synonymous with Durif. It makes what many argue are the finest examples of the variety found anywhere, not just in Australia, but the world!
- The Riverina in NSW is the other heavyweight Durif region, but look out for examples from any number of other warm and cool Australian wine regions, including the Barossa Valley.
WHAT DOES DURIF TASTE LIKE?
Durif is a red varietal, but is it heavy or light in character? Is Durif sweet or more on the savoury side? Let’s find out.
Durif is a big wine. It stains your glass with its deep and dark (almost black) colour. It’s full bodied, robust and high in tannins, displaying black fruit notes like plum, black cherry and blackberry, and can also feature dark chocolate and spicy characters.
WHAT WINE IS DURIF SIMILAR TO?
The aromas and flavours are similar to Shiraz with black fruits common. What sets it apart from Shiraz is that it can have various herbal elements and it has a tannin spine that can be intense.
DID YOU KNOW?
There is actually a fan club for Durif based in California. ‘P.S. I Love You (P.S. standing for Petite Sirah’), is a group of zealous advocates dedicated to raising the profile of this dark and mysterious grape variety.
WHAT DO YOU EAT WITH DURIF?
Which foods pair well with Durif? When it comes to this variety, the richer the better! To match the intensity of Durif, you need richly flavoured food, so it’s ideal with red meat braises like oxtail or ribs, it works well with barbequed dishes and game meat like kangaroo or venison, and also pairs nicely with rich comfort food like stews as well as any dish with black olives.
Explore Australian Durif with these delicious examples that have all passed our rigorous Tasting Panel selection process with flying colours.