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.
The top notch 2004 vintage in McLaren Vale has yielded a deeply concentrated muscular Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah, showing deep-set blackberry fruit, notes of fruit-cake and savoury spice underpinned by cedary oak and plentiful ripe tannins. Rich and full bodied, it has the concentration and intensity to age easily for two to three decades. Drink now-2030.
A wine of precision and distinction, with immaculate fruit, oak and tannin balance...
95 points, Wine Companion
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 colour, 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+
98 points, Wine Advocate, October 2006.
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. .
96 points, Vinous (July 2006)