Picked before the heat and weighing in at a reasonable 14.5% alcohol, the 2008 Astralis Syrah (tasted from magnum) is singing. Showing no bricking at the rim, scents of cracked pepper, mint, bay leaf, thyme, lavender and blueberries pour out of the glass, adding meaty notes and hints of espresso and black olive with air. Full-bodied, creamy-textured and supple on the long finish, this wine shouldn't be missed. If you've got one, open it and see for yourself. (JC)
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. *Cellar Selection* (JC)
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. (HS)
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.
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