Also see Syrah.
Shiraz originally hails from France, where it is known as Syrah. It's particularly popular in the Rhône Valley area where it is often blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to make dry, fruity reds. In fact, Syrah is known to produce the darkest bodied red wines in the world which explains why it is so often blended with other varietals to reduce its boldness. The flavour profile of a typical Syrah-based wine is an upfront dose of dark fruits, often blue and blackberries with some earthy and smoky tones. On the finish you're likely to find spice, often described as white pepper.
In Australia and other parts of the New World, Syrah is commonly referred to as Shiraz, here the grape is fruitier and even more spicy than it's Old World counterpart and is often blended with another grape of French ancestry, Viognier to form an unlikely partnership that creates big reds with plenty of fruit.