The 2002 Syrah Astralis Vineyard rivals the greatest wines Roman Bratasiuk has made in his 15-year career. This compelling, black/blue-hued offering from 75-year-old Syrah vines tastes like blood of the vine. An extraordinary perfume of flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, roasted meat, new saddle leather, and earth is followed by a wine with sweet tannin, sensational concentration, full body, an unctuous texture, and a full-throttle, tannic finish. Yet it reveals unbelievable elegance and finesse. Too many Euro-centric elitists argue that Australian wines are too rich and over the top, but all of these offerings have been made by someone with great talent and vision who takes the extraordinary ripeness and purity of fruit available from these old vine vineyards and crafts them into wines that are quite European in style ... just richer and denser. The 2002 Astralis is a tour de force. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025+.
Polished, round and beautifully balanced to bring the blueberry, plum and blackberry character into relief, the lingering flavors riding effortlessly on superfine tannins. More refined, not as big or chunky as previous vintages.
“To my taste, no one makes better Old Vine Grenache in Australia than Roman Bratasiuk, and I doubt anyone in California can compete with him. These immense, super-concentrated, muscular wines appear to mirror the personality and stature of proprietor/winemaker Roman Bratasiuk. Clarendon Hills produces some of my favorite Australian wines and readers looking for flavor, personality, and pleasure should seek out these limited production gems.”
Established in 1990 in McLaren Vale, South Australia, Clarendon Hills was one of the first estates in the country to bottle single-vineyard expressions of wine. Founded by Ukrainian immigrant Roman Bratasiuk, the winery was created as a way for him to demonstrate his passion for French wine. Most of the highly specialized vineyards are located at higher elevations and have mostly older vines. To continue with the Francophile theme, Roman developed a cru-like designation for the wines according to their quality. Clarendon Hills wines are made from low-yielding wines that Robert Parker regularly rates at 95+ points.
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