Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2002
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
This is Clarendon Hills' flagship wine. It is a member of Clarendon Hills' 'Grand Cru' classification.
Every year, the Astralis vineyard produces the most beautiful wine in our cellar. Despite its non-differentiated treatment in the cellar, it always reveals the most rounded, sublime and seamless expression of syrah which ages like a rock.
The vast wealth of this wine's varietal depth extends beyond the parameters of syrah - beckoning superlatives. Amazingly svelte in its balance of varietal depth with restrained power and super finely integrated extract, it is light on its feet and majestic once in focus. Overriding harmony meets an anarchical expression of Australian classic syrah. Lifted florals dance with rich meats, coffee, cola, chocolate, pan forte, turkish delight, graphite, bitumen, cigar tobacco, black cardamom, good quality soy sauce and crushed rocks. It is dense, yet creamy smooth.
This is a wine that is always the most beautiful in our cellar. We recommend it is always decanted. Only the patient will recoup the full dividend of cellaring this masterpiece.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2002 Syrah Astralis Vineyard rivals the greatest wines Roman Bratasiuk has made in his 15-year career. This compelling, black/blue-hued offering from 75-year-old Syrah vines tastes like blood of the vine. An extraordinary perfume of flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, roasted meat, new saddle leather, and earth is followed by a wine with sweet tannin, sensational concentration, full body, an unctuous texture, and a full-throttle, tannic finish. Yet it reveals unbelievable elegance and finesse. Too many Euro-centric elitists argue that Australian wines are too rich and over the top, but all of these offerings have been made by someone with great talent and vision who takes the extraordinary ripeness and purity of fruit available from these old vine vineyards and crafts them into wines that are quite European in style ... just richer and denser. The 2002 Astralis is a tour de force. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025+."
Wine Spectator - "Polished, round and beautifully balanced to bring the blueberry, plum and blackberry character into relief, the lingering flavors riding effortlessly on superfine tannins. More refined, not as big or chunky as previous vintages."
Clarendon Hills Winery
Clarendon Hills is a small family-run winery based in Clarendon, South Australia. The company was founded by biochemist, Roman Bratasiuk, in 1990. The story of Clarendon Hills is one of passion, dedication and commitment to exception wine. It all began when this biochemist and wine lover decided to produce his own wine. Though he'd never trained as a winemaker, Roman let himself be guided by his refined palate and scientific knowledge. Following his favorite producers and preferred styles, Roman sought to make a version of the wines he loved. View all Clarendon Hills Wines
About McLaren ValeView a map of McLaren Vale wineries
McLaren Vale is home to the oldest Australian vineyard, with grapes planted in 1838. It's a coastal area, the Indian Ocean bordering the west, which leads to a cooling factor that prevents the grapes from getting too hot. In all, the climate is a perfect one for the vines.
Notable FactsIn McLaren Vale, there are vines as far as the eye can see. As in other parts of Australia, Shiraz and Grenache are the top grapes of the region, with some Cabernet Sauvignon planted as well. While red rules, whites are able to hold their own here too. With the warm yet reasonable Mediterranean climate, white grapes like Chardonnay, Semillon and even some Sauvignon Blanc grow well. The wines are round and smooth and the producers in the regions are excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.