2008 Clarendon Hills Shiraz Astralis

Year: 2008
Appellation: McLaren Vale
Country: Australia
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 97
Wine Enthusiast: 94--Jeremy Oliver: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$79.95
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A CRAZY $300.00 RELEASE PRICE AND OUR RETAIL PRICE IS EVEN CRAZIER!!!

"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. Best from 2015 through 2020. 500 cases imported. –HS" (WS)

"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. Drink it now to 2028+.

I am grateful to Roman Bratasiuk for presenting me with small verticals from his cellar of some of his greatest vineyard sources for this report, including the Merlot (as an indication that Merlot can do well in Australia!), the Old Vines/Romas Vineyard Grenache and a vertical of the Astralis vineyard Shiraz going back to 1991. Readers should note that the 2011 vintage Clarendon Hills wines are being released a little later than usual and therefore were not available for tasting in time for this report. However, I have been informed that they will be available for tasting very soon and will hopefully make the South Australia report." (WA)

"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. Try around 2018. — J.C. (7/1/2012)" (WE)

"Very savoury and stylish, with a spicy, faintly jammy bouquet of black and red berries, plums and chocolatey oak lifted by a heady, spicy muskiness. Tightly balanced, with layers of brightly lit black and red fruits knit with fresh new oak and underpinned by mouth-wateringly fine, crunchy tannin, it’s long and finely crafted, with a lingering core of intense fruit punctuated by a fresh acidity." (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.