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Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2005

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP99
  • WS96
  • WE95
  • W&S92
14.5% ABV
  • RP100
  • JH97
  • WW96
  • RP97
  • WS94
  • WE94
  • W&S92
  • RP99
  • WS98
  • RP98
  • WE98
  • WS97
  • JH95
  • RP99
  • WS95
  • WE95
  • RP99
  • WS95
  • WS95
  • RP93
  • RP98
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5.0 2 Ratings
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5.0 2 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
At the top of the pyramid is the 2005 Syrah Astralis Vineyard. It is sourced from a vineyard planted in 1920 and is one of the Syrah cuvees in which 100% new oak is utilized (along with Brookman, Hickinbotham, and Piggott Range). It delivers an ethereal bouquet of smoky oak, violets, espresso, black pepper, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Densely packed and tightly wound, all it needs is time. The wine is totally harmonious, impeccably balanced, and exceptionally long. When it fully unwinds, even my high rating will appear conservative. Its only competition comes from the likes of Guigal, Chapoutier, Chave, Krankl, and Ringland.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
Supple, graceful and pointedly focused, offering a whoosh of blackberry, cherry, dusky spice and clotted cream character that zings across the palate, picking up hints of espresso and mineral as the finish rockets on and on. Impressive for its deceptive power and harmony. Syrah. Best from 2010 through 2020. 500 cases imported.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Astralis has become one of Australia’s top collectibles, and Roman Bratasiuk’s 2005 version is once again top-shelf stuff. It’s full-bodied and rich without being over the top, balancing dark-chocolate-covered blackberries and blueberries with more complex savory notes (spice, grilled meat). While it’s a big, hulking wine at first, the finish shows great elegance and finesse, ending with silky tannins. Best from 2014
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Astralis is a wine of unchecked power, supercharged by oak and alcohol, a blast of sweet raspberry fruit that doesn't stop for pedestrians. Whatever burn the alcohol leaves in its wake is incidental if there's a mammoth steak nearby.
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Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills

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Clarendon Hills, McLaren Vale, Australia
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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.

McLaren Vale

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Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol, with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style, as are ripe, tropical-fruited Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

KOE92327_2005 Item# 92327