Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2016
The 2016 Astralis release offers both collectors and connoisseurs alike an opportunity to witness a legend in the making. The Astralis Syrah vineyard has been captured by legendary winemaker Roman Bratasiuk over the last 30 years and this is one of the very best releases. Roman has pushed his belief that this is one of the greatest single vineyards in the world to the n’th degree. This is an old vine, single vineyard discovered by Roman Bratasiuk in 1990 that has become consistently the highest scoring wine in McLaren Vale. Hand picked and wild yeast fermented the wine is matured in the highest quality French Oak for 18 months before being bottled at the winery by the very same team that made it. Majesty, elegance and seamless power are some of the most enduring comments on the Astralis, who’s name comes from a reference to the night sky. Astralis is defined as a celestial body and or pertaining to the stars. Prestigious Australian wine company Langtons ranks Astralis amongst its highest echelon, the ‘Exceptional’ category alongside the iconic Grange and Hill of Grace wines. The wine has received numerous high praise with 2 recent perfect 100 point scores and also 9 other vintages that are near perfectly scored with a 98 or 99 point score.
” The flagship 2016 Syrah Astralis checks as all Syrah that comes from a single vineyard planted in 1920 on more gravelly, clay, and iron-laced soils. Brought up in 90% new French oak, it has a classic, almost restrained bouquet of pure Shiraz goodness, including ripe blackberry and blueberry fruits intermixed with notes of charred meat, rendered bacon fat, crushed violets, and pepper. Beautifully balanced and full-bodied, it’s a Shiraz that seems to have one foot in Côte Rôtie and one foot in the McLaren Vale. It’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 20-30 years. It’s the real deal and an incredible expression of Syrah.”
” East-facing, sandy clay and rocky at the bottom. This is a very intense, layered style of wine with complex, rich, suave and sophisticated style. Intense aromas of dark plums, blackberries and spice with brown-pepper and grilled-meat notes. The palate has such dense, supple and long tannins and delivers blackberry, plum and licorice flavors in regal and impressive mode. The power is delivered so smoothly with full commitment to flavor. Try from 2024″
“The inky, tannic 2016 Astralis Syrah will no doubt need some time before it reaches its apogee. Right now, it only hints at that potential. Appetizing scents of roasted meat and cinnamon toast meet red raspberries and black cherries on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is densely concentrated and richly textured but closed, locked up by firm, dusty tannins that bar the lengthy finish from expanding and being truly expressive. I’m tempted to say buyers should check in on the wine in five years, but that may not be enough time. If you absolutely must check it out now, taste it repeatedly over the course of a full evening to catch glimpses of espresso, black olives and delicate herbal nuances.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate