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Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2008

  • RP99
  • WS94
  • WE94
  • W&S92
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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  • WW96
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4.5 5 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is Clarendon Hills' flagship wine. It is a member of Clarendon Hills' "1er Grand Cru" classification.

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Picked before the heat and weighing in at a reasonable 14.5% alcohol, the 2008 Astralis Syrah (tasted from magnum) is singing. Showing no bricking at the rim, scents of cracked pepper, mint, bay leaf, thyme, lavender and blueberries pour out of the glass, adding meaty notes and hints of espresso and black olive with air. Full-bodied, creamy-textured and supple on the long finish, this wine shouldn't be missed. If you've got one, open it and see for yourself.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Dense and chewy, bursting with juicy blueberry and dark plum fruit, this weaves black olive and spice notes into the long and grippy finish. Shows consistency throughout.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
A step up from the other Syrahs in the 2008 Clarendon Hills’ lineup, the Astralis is firmly tannic and should be long-lived. The masses of rich black-cherry fruit are amply framed by cedary oak without ever being overwhelmed, with the fruit persisting on the long finish.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Planted in 1920, the vineyard for Astralis faces east on a steep slope of pebbles and clay over ironstone. Roman Bratasiuk presents this as his top wine, powerfully ripe and structured. The 2008 balances notes of pumpkin bread, honey and figs with ironstone tannins that hold the wine tight. It’s both sweet and earthy, gaining detail as it takes on air. Built to age. E&J Gallo, Modesto, CA
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Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hills

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Clarendon Hills, 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.

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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. Whites, often made from Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc tend to be opulent and full of tropical, stone and citrus fruit.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

YAO131241_2008 Item# 131241