Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah (Signed), McLaren Vale
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.
"Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2009 Astralis presents a very fruity, floral nose with lifted notes of blueberries. The palate is concentrated with a slight prune character and has very crisp acidity. At this stage the phenolics are showing a little chewy before finishing long. Drink it now to 2027+." 97 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown.
"Ever controversial, because of its self-endowed classification of '1er Grand Cru'. Sourced from a single vineyard in the Blewitt Springs area, with 90-year-old shiraz vines, open-fermented with partial whole berry and whole bunch inclusion; ultimately spending 18 months in 100% new French oak. Deep but bright purple-crimson; strong overtones of bitter chocolate and licorice to the foundation of black fruits on the bouquet keep steering the same course on the massive, full-bodied palate; the tannins are very obvious, but soft and ripe, leaving the wine with excellent balance; 650 dozen made."
96 points, James Halliday.