Clarendon Hills Astralis Vineyard Syrah 2003
Wine AdvocateIt's hard to believe the 2003 Syrah Astralis Vineyard could be better, but it offers riveting richness, intensity, purity, and equilibrium. Structurally, it is similar to the Piggott Range, revealing abundant amounts of sweet, ripe tannin, and huge extract, richness, and depth. Meant for true connoisseurs who are willing to forget it for 5-8 years, it represents what Roman Bratasiuk and Clarendon Hills do so well ... show respect for the great traditions of France, but recognize the extraordinary raw materials that emerge from old vines planted in McLaren Vale. This fabulous wine offers both power and elegance, and showcases the extraordinary talent of Roman Bratasiuk. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030.
Wine EnthusiastA fantastic wine, but so young that it would qualify better as "fetus" than as "infant." Still very closed on the nose, showing cassis and black cherry aromas after much airing. Its color is a powerful, almost glowing, purple and its flavors-a vibrant surge of pure black and blueberries-are just as intense. Very concentrated and tight, with a linear, minerally frame underneath its monstrous tannins. Winemaker Roman Bratasiuk recommends aging for a mimum of 6 years before drinking; if you are as foolish as I and insist on opening a bottle today, decant for a minimum of 6-8 hours. Rating may look stingy by the time Bush finishes his second term.
Wine SpectatorAristocratic stuff, brimming with lovely blueberry, plum and vanilla flavors, wrapped in a mantle of peppery, cedary oak, finishing with plenty of flavor and a rousing intensity that promises a long, impressive development. A stylish red that shows no signs of quitting. Best from 2008 through 2020. 600 cases made.