2004 Clarendon Hills "Astralis" Syrah Clarendon South Australia
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of Australia’s most prodigious Syrahs, Clarendon Hills’ 2004 Syrah Astralis is fashioned from vines planted in 1920, and spends time in 100% new French oak from the cooper, Cadus. It boasts off the charts intensity as well as an opaque purple color, and notes of spring flowers, blueberries, blackberries, roasted coffee beans, pepper, smoke, and a hint of sweet toasty oak. This full-bodied, rich, intense, backward Syrah needs 2-3+ hours in the decanter if one is going to approach it at this point in its life. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+. (RP)
*Cellar Selection* The flagship of the Clarendon Hills line, this comes from a patch of 80-year-old vines that winemaker Bratasiuk claims routinely provides his best fruit. The 2004 is a stunner, yielding up scents of flowers and spice, framed by hints of vanillin oak. It’s dense and amply textured in the mouth, packed with wonderfully expressive blackberry and blueberry fruit, then shows layers of rich tannins on the finish that leave no doubt this needs time in the cellar to show its best. This is a tour de force of Australian winemaking that should be consumed 2010 - 2025.
Deep, dense and brooding. A smoky, thick Shiraz that feels open and welcoming as the finish expands and persists. Cherry, chocolate and espresso notes mingle harmoniously and hint at loamy earth as the finish sails on and on.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Inky, bright-rimmed purple. Explosive, captivating aromas of every imaginable red and dark berry, kirsch, spicecake, pipe tobacco and floral essences. Thick and velvety in texture, with a stunning vibrancy to the boysenberry and blackberry liqueur flavors. Chewy and almost colloidal, but there's superb energy and vivacity here as well. A wild, almost overwhelming wine with great intensity and concentration, not to mention sweetness and purity. Does the finish here ever go away? I hope not. (JR)
A wine of precision and distinction, with immaculate fruit, oak and tannin balance, a light year away from the original Astralis style.
They call it Syrah not Shiraz. Fruit from Clarendon, 250 m above sea level. Dry-grown 85-year-old vines. Matured 18 months in new French oak. pH 3.52, TA 6.6 g/l. Deep and inky with smudgy rim. Very sweet pruney dark fruit nose with the sweetness of blueberry. Smells slightly volatile and there's lots of sweet oak spice. Very firm, dryish tannins but still bright fresh acidity. Quite taut given the ripeness of fruit.