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Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP97
  • WS94
  • WE94
  • W&S92
14.5% ABV
  • RP100
  • JH97
  • WW96
  • RP99
  • WS98
  • RP99
  • WS96
  • WE95
  • W&S92
  • RP98
  • WE98
  • WS97
  • JH95
  • RP99
  • WS95
  • WE95
  • RP99
  • WS95
  • WS95
  • RP93
  • RP98
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4.5 5 Ratings
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

All Vintages
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Also deep garnet-purple in color, the 2008 Astralis is a little reduced and brooding on the nose showing aromas of dark berries, meat, licorice and dark chocolate. Big, full-bodied and rich in the mouth it has balanced acid along with medium-firm grainy tannins. It finishes long and balanced.
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, 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.

GZT10054166_2008 Item# 131241