Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2004
Planted in the early 1930's, the vineyard is about 70 years old. This vineyard is planted with the old clones of Syrah (low yielding) on their own roots, dry grown and yields about two tonnes to the acre. The soils here are mainly clay, ironstone and gravel facing due east and fairly steep. The vineyard usually ripens early due to the low yields and extensive root systems of these old vines. The grapes are handpicked and fermented with natural yeasts in open stainless steel tanks at temperatures up to 32 degree Celsius. All the pressings are returned to the 100% new French oak barriques and the maturation lasts for 18 months before bottling without fining or filtration. This is always the most beautiful wine in the cellar and is the flagship of the Clarendon Hills Syrah Range. Due to minimal intervention in the winemaking process this wine expresses the vineyard characters as it develops in the bottle for up to 30 years. First vintage 1994 (but 1990-1993 made)
Clarendon Hills is a small family run winery based in Clarendon, South Australia. With a philosophy to convey variety expression at an ultimate level, hand performance of every task ensures each step of the process is exacting to specification. Making wine in an old-school, low technology fashion - each decision bases the sight, smell, taste and interpretation as its mechanics.
External Reviews for Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah
It's hard to believe the 2003 Syrah Astralis Vineyard could be better, but it offers riveting richness, intensity, purity, and equilibrium. Structurally, it is similar to the Piggott Range, revealing abundant amounts of sweet, ripe tannin, and huge extract, richness, and depth. Meant for true connoisseurs who are willing to forget it for 5-8 years, it represents what Roman Bratasiuk and Clarendon Hills do so well... show respect for the great traditions of France, but recognize the extraordinary raw materials that emerge from old vines planted in McLaren Vale. This fabulous wine offers both power and elegance, and showcases the extraordinary talent of Roman Bratasiuk. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030.
A great classic, the inky/purple-colored 2005 Syrah Astralis is a 40-50 year effort. Although closed, it displays gorgeous but subtle notes of smoked meats, black currants, graphite, new saddle leather, truffles, and blackberries. Remarkably elegant for a wine of such power and intensity, this complex, rich, full-bodied, backward Syrah has totally absorbed its aging in 100% French oak, and appears set for a long life. If you plan on drinking it over the next 4-5 years, it will need 24 hours of decanting. It should be at its finest between 2012-2035.
Deep, dense and brooding. A smoky, thick Shiraz that feels open and welcoming as the finish expands and persists. Cherry, chocolate and expresso notes mingle harmoniously and hint at loamy earth as the finish sails on and on. Best from 2010 through 2020.
One of Australiaandrsquo;s most prodigious Syrahs, Clarendon Hillsandrsquo; 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 2andndash;3+ hours in the decanter if one is going to approach it at this point in its life. Anticipated maturity: 2010andndash;2040+.
Aristocratic stuff, brimming with lovely blueberry, plum and vanilla flavors, wrapped in a mantle of peppery, cedary oak, finishing with plenty of flavor and a rousing intensity that promises a long, impressive development. A stylish red that shows no signs of quitting. Best from 2008 through 2020.
Wine Advocate ReviewOne of Australias 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+.
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 thereandrsquo;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.