The lyrical and beautiful Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah is a highly complex and well concentrated wine with dark liquorice, blackberry, mocha aromas and touches of chamomile, earthy, bitumen, herb garden notes. It is a changing kaleidoscope of aromas and flavours with dry, slinky tannins, plenty of fruit richness and underlying savoury oak. With age the wine develops paneforte, dark chocolate, cedar, spicy aromas and superb chocolaty textures. The wine is generally more muscular than standard McLaren Vale Shirazes with a compelling buoyancy, energy and flavour length. Vinification takes place in variable capacity, open stainless steel fermenters and is then matured in new 'Burgundian' pièces for 18 months.
"Picked before the heat and weighing in at a reasonable 14.5% alcohol, the 2008 Astralis Syrah (tasted from magnum) is singing. Showing no bricking at the rim, scents of cracked pepper, mint, bay leaf, thyme, lavender and blueberries pour out of the glass, adding meaty notes and hints of espresso and black olive with air. Full-bodied, creamy-textured and supple on the long finish, this wine shouldn't be missed. If you've got one, open it and see for yourself."
99 points, Wine Advocate (September 2018)
"Also deep garnet-purple in color, the 2008 Astralis is a little reduced and brooding on the nose showing aromas of dark berries, meat, licorice and dark chocolate. Big, full-bodied and rich in the mouth it has balanced acid along with medium-firm grainy tannins. It finishes long and balanced."
97 points, Wine Advocate (February 2014)
"The 2008 Astralis Vineyard Syrah is a bit of a triumph given the vintage. Very deep garnet-purple in color, it reveals earthy notes to begin – moss-covered bark and black truffles, damp humus and iodine. At the core it presents aromas of black cherries and creme de cassis plus mocha and anise. The palate is concentrated and powerful yet elegant with firm, very fine grained tannins, very high acidity and ample flesh that is already presenting a multitude of layers. The finish is very long and though there’s some cedar showing, it should marry by the time this wine is ready to drink. This Astralis is very young and primary promising much more to come!"
97 points, Wine Advocate (December 2010)