2010 Clarendon Hills Astralis

100
RP
As low as $275.00
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Product ID
2010-clarendon-hills-astralis
 

Wine Critic Reviews for 2010 Clarendon Hills Astralis

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 Astralis is still quite primary eliciting aromas of black plums, blueberry compote and blackcurrant liqueur with a savory and baking spice undercurrent plus a fragrant whiff of violets. Very structured, fine and complex in the medium to full-bodied mouth, this wine is revealing much more than when I first tasted it a year ago and is now showing layer upon layer of black fruit preserves, mocha, toast and spices before finishing with great length. Extraordinary wine. Approachable now, it should cellar to 2030+.

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.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RP
Good yields, warm days and cool nights with even ripening. This has a complex nose with dried meat, wet earth, black truffle and black tea, together with ripe dark plums and blackberries. Sweet spices and hints of leather, too. The palate has a plush, supple and concentrated feel with good freshness of blueberry flavor. Cocoa and dark chocolate here, as well as rich dark plums. Hints of espresso to close. Complex and composed. Drink now.

James Suckling | 97 JS

Wine Details on 2010 Clarendon Hills Astralis

More Information
Producer Clarendon
Region South Australia: The South Australian landscape is almost surreal in its beauty. It's a seemingly endless expanse of fields stretching out into the horizon, and it's easy to appreciate what a mixture of soils like this contributes to mouth-watering, delicious wines. With a variety of grapes ranging from Syrah (or as it's known in Australia, Shiraz), Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to Riesling, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, it's no surprise that South Australia is easily considered one of the biggest powerhouses in the wine world.

Given the sheer number of represented varietals, it's hard to pinpoint a signature taste, but that just means you get to enjoy exploring this region to your heart's content, always discovering new pleasures as you go. The quality is consistently high, and every wine offers something unique and different, making them a joy to collect. Whether you prefer reds or whites, Australian winemakers should at least be near the top of your priority list, as their wines are inspirational, compelling and powerful. We've prepared a selection of fine wines from every important sub-region of South Australia. There's something in here for everyone, and you can be sure that your guests will suddenly become very inquisitive about where you obtained the bottles you decide to uncork in front of them.
Subregion Lur Saluces
Appellation Cote Rotie
Climat/Vineyard La Turque
Cru Premier Cru
Country Australia: Australia (especially its Southern region) is one of the most influential and developed New World wine regions. Its unique set of terroir profiles lets Australian winemakers create innovative, expressive wines using many classic varietals. All the French essentials are seen here, along with Riesling. The diversity and variety among Australia's most excellent wines make the region incredibly exciting to explore, especially if you're in the mood for a pleasant surprise or two. Let the land speak to you from within the bottle and find your horizons broadened, and your perspective changed forever as you fall in love with wine all over again.
Type of Wine Australia Red: Australia is one of the New World's most innovative and reputable regions, and a sip or two of their glorious red wines can quickly explain why. Infused with the essence of noble grapes such as Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, these reds will take your senses on a thrill ride.
Varietal Shiraz/Syrah: Something magical occurred when two ancient French grapes procreated and the varietal of Syrah entered the world of winegrowing. The exact time period of its inception is still undetermined; however, the origin of Syrah’s parentage confirms it was birthed in the Rhone Valley. DNA testing performed by UC Davis has indicated that Syrah is the progeny of the varietals Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche, both of Rhone origin. Syrah dominates its native homeland of Northern Rhone and has become one of the most popular grape varietals in the world.

Syrah, Shiraz and Petite Sirah have often been confused and misunderstood, some consumers believing them to all be the same grape, while others thinking the opposite. Petite Sirah is actually the offspring of Syrah and Peloursin and though related, is an entirely different grape variety. Its official name is Durif, for the name of the French nurseryman who first propagated the varietal in the 1880s; it is called Petite Sirah in California (due to the resemblance of Syrah, but smaller berries). Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape. Producers in Australia have been labelling Syrah as “Shiraz” since James Busby first introduced the varietal to the continent. The Scottish viticulturist brought Syrah from France to Australia in the middle of the 18th century and labelled the cuttings as “Sycras” and “Ciras,” which may have led to the naming. Most California vintners label their bottlings as Syrah and of course in French style and tradition, the name of the village or area the grape is cultivated dictates the label name.

The Syrah grape is at home in Northern Rhone where the climate is cool and the terroir is filled with gravel, schist, limestone, iron, granite and sandy soils. It thrives on rocky, hilly terrain with a southern exposure, due to its need for sunlight. Syrah is a very vigorous grape with a spreading growth habit. The berries are small to medium oval shaped blue-black and tend to shrivel when ripe.

Today, Syrah is one of the most popular and widely planted grape varietals in the world, covering almost 190,000 hectares across the earth’s surface. It is the only red grape variety permitted by AOC regulations in the appellations of Hermitage and Cote-Rotie, where it has breathed life into some of the most tremendous wines on the planet. Languedoc-Roussilon has the most surface area planted in France with 43,200 hectares dedicated to Syrah. The varietal is used for blending in Southern Rhone, Provence and even Bordeaux. Syrah has spread worldwide from Australia to California and South Africa to Spain creating the ‘New World’ hype of the varietal. Since the 1990’s, Syrah winegrowing and production has increased exponentially; for example, in 1958 there were a mere 2,000 hectares planted in France. By 2005 that number increased to over 68,000 hectares and today it is well over 70,000. The same holds true for California, Australia and other ‘New World’ producers that have jumped “all in.” World-wide there are approximately 190,000 hectares of Syrah currently being cultivated.

The allure of Syrah has taken the world by storm, but is important to note where the hype began. Long before Syrah was being stamped with ‘New World’ or of ‘cult status,’ the tremendous quality of Hermitage was being written about in Thomas Jefferson’s diary. Today, the grape variety can be grown, fashioned, named and enjoyed in a myriad of ways, but the quality of Syrah grape remains the same – incredible.

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