2005 Clarendon Hills Astralis (Shiraz)

Year: 2005
Appellation: McLaren Vale
Country: Australia
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 99
Vinous Media: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 95
Jeremy Oliver on Australian Wine: 95
Red Wine
Price :
$159.95
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$325.00 RELEASE PRICE!

"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." (WS)

"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." (WA)

"($350) Glass-staining purple. A room-filling bouquet displays the full range of dark fruits, with exotic Asian spices, graphite, cured tobacco, lavender perfume and rose pastille adding complexity. Mouthcoating boysenberry and kirsch flavors are complicated by high-octane chocolate, candied licorice, vanilla bean and floral pastilles, with a bright cracked pepper quality adding lift. Supple tannins mount on the finish, adding structure but allowing the jaw-dropping fruit to shine through. If you have the means and the access, this is one to buy. (Wine Brokers Unlimited, Hayward, CA)" (IWC)

"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." (WE)

"Dark and peppery, black and spicy, this deeply flavoured, assertive and brooding young shiraz marries lashings of toasty, bacony new oak with layers of blackcurrant, dark plum and blackberry flavour. Coated with very firm but finely polished tannin, it’s sumptuous and concentrated, delivering its thick, juicy dark and marginally raisined fruit over faint suggestions of mint and menthol. (McLaren Vale, $400 retail, approx., 95, drink 2010-2013+)" (JO)

Winery 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.

Despite being treated and managed in the same manner as all of Clarendon Hills’ vineyards, this one attracts global attention. This is due to its incredible expression, classic demeanour and timeless elegance. This vineyard was planted in 1920 on a 45º degree, ascending slope. It faces due-east and has a top soil layer of pebble-ridden clay and subsoil layer of pure ironstone. The site was once trellised, but now these stately vines are farmed as they grow, without trellising.