2005 Clarendon Hills Astralis (Pre-Arrival)
99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "At the top of the pyramid is the 2005 Syrah Astralis Vineyard. It is sourced from a vineyard planted in 1920 and is one of the Syrah cuvees in which 100% new oak is utilized...It delivers an ethereal bouquet of smoky oak, violets, espresso, black pepper, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Densely packed and tightly wound, all it needs is time. The wine is totally harmonious, impeccably balanced, and exceptionally long. When it fully unwinds, even my high rating will appear conservative. Its only competition comes from the likes of Guigal, Chapoutier, Chave, Krankl, and Ringland." 96 points Wine Spectator: "Supple, graceful and pointedly focused, offering a whoosh of blackberry, cherry, dusky spice and clotted cream character that zings across the palate, picking up hints of espresso and mineral as the finish rockets on and on. Impressive for its deceptive power and harmony. Syrah. Best from 2010 through 2020." 95 points Stephen Tanzer's IWC: "Glass-staining purple. A room-filling bouquet displays the full range of dark fruits, with exotic Asian spices, graphite, cured tobacco, lavender perfume and rose pastille adding complexity. Mouthcoating boysenberry and kirsch flavors are complicated by high-octane chocolate, candied licorice, vanilla bean and floral pastilles, with a bright cracked pepper quality adding lift. Supple tannins mount on the finish, adding structure but allowing the jaw-dropping fruit to shine through..."