This pack is a particularly smashing one. Including six rich and deliciously intense 95+ point-scoring vintages of the Clarendon Hills Classified Exceptional Astralis McLaren Vale Syrah. This pack also includes a free yellow Riedel Cornetto Confetti decanter valued at $500.
Ever controversial, because of its self-endowed classification of '1er Grand Cru'. Sourced from a single vineyard in the Blewitt Springs area, with 90-year-old shiraz vines, open-fermented with partial whole berry and whole bunch inclusion; ultimately spending 18 months in 100% new French oak. Deep but bright purple-crimson; strong overtones of bitter chocolate and licorice to the foundation of black fruits on the bouquet keep steering the same course on the massive, full-bodied palate; the tannins are very obvious, but soft and ripe, leaving the wine with excellent balance; 650 dozen made.
96 points, Wine Companion (March 2012)
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2009 Astralis presents a very fruity, floral nose with lifted notes of blueberries. The palate is concentrated with a slight prune character and has very crisp acidity. At this stage the phenolics are showing a little chewy before finishing long. Drink it now to 2027+.
97 points, Wine Advocate (February 2014)
Has the deepest colour of the eight '11 Clarendon Hills shirazs, and also the most powerful palate; the black fruits coat the mouth, yet, strangely, the tannins are fine - although in no way deficient, the length of the palate is awesome.
96 points, Wine Companion (January 2014)
The deep garnet-purple 2011 Astralis offers a nose redolent of Christmas pudding, allspice, mocha and anise along with a lovely core of prunes, black cherry preserves and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with elegant, effortless fruit, with a medium level of finely grained tannins, just enough acidity, and a long and multi-layered finish. Drink it 2015 to 2030+.
96+ points, Wine Advocate (February 2014)
The price is stratospheric but so too the quality. This mounts a watertight case. Voluminous fruit, dense in colour and concentration, large bones of supporting tannin and a resounding finish. Such super-sweet concentration isn't for everyone but when it's done like this it creates a universe for you to immerse yourself in; it's as all-encompassing as it is compelling. Syrah.
98 points, Wine Companion (February 2015)
Medium to deep garnet/purple, the 2012 Astralis (Shiraz) starts off with complex, meaty and earthy aromas wafting around a core of blackberry preserves, preserved plums, and mulberries with hints of licorice, Chinese five spice and potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, the multi-layered flavors have very spicy accents and are framed by ripe, grainy tannins. It has a very long and elegant finish with hints of exotic spices.
98+ points, Wine Advocate (August 2015)
A classic year, producing wines with real structure. There’s a very composed feel from the get-go here with ripe blackberry and dark-plum aromas, framed in subtly savory notes of black tea, olive and graphite. The palate is plush, with plenty of rich, fine tannin carrying ripe blueberry and red-plum flavors long. A real kick of power at the finish here. Such long tannins. Drink over the next decade or more.
98 points, JamesSuckling.com (November 2021)
Dark and inky red, this monumentally proportioned wine has all the hallmarks of a classic Astralis, the bouquet with an endless array of detail. The palate is plush and expansive with layer upon layer of inky fruit and powerful tannins. Needless to say, exceptionally long and powerful.
96 points, Wine Companion (March 2016)
Full-bodied, creamy and rich, the 2013 Astralis Syrah lacks a bit of precision on the nose, but the palate delivers stunning layers of lush blueberry fruit, made savory by the addition of coffee grounds and black olives. Long and plush on the finish, it's a tremendous effort for the vintage.
95 points, Wine Advocate (September 2018)
Volatile spring, leading to a lower-yielding vintage. This has very complex aromas of exotic spices with graphite and dark plums, as well as black tea, iodine, white pepper and some redder plum, too. The palate has a striking level of concentration of rich red plums and blackberries. Super-fine, long tannins hold so long. Powerful. Very youthful. Drink over the next decade or more.
97 points, JamesSuckling.com (November 2021)
It takes richness and ripeness to extremes and yet it's elegant, controlled and long. It's precision engineering in wine form. The thrust of dark fruit, the sleek veneer of cedary, smoky oak, the attention-to-detail evident everywhere you look.
96 points, Wine Companion (February 2018)
Cola, dried spices, menthol and blueberry notes all appear on the nose of the 2014 Astralis Syrah. A massive yet approachable wine, it's full-bodied and creamy-textured, with a rich, velvety finish that picks up awesome savory notes of anise, cracked pepper and roasted meat. It's simply a terrific wine that may be drunk soon or held up to two decades.
97 points, Wine Advocate (September 2018)
The fitting capstone to what was a terrific vintage for Clarendon Hills, the 2015 Astralis Syrah is destined to become a McLaren Vale legend. Remarkably precise, complex and pristine aromas of anise, pepper, mint and blueberries lead the way. They're followed by a full-bodied yet impeccably ripe palate that's dense and concentrated yet supple, leading into a velvety, nearly endless finish. Wow. Drink Date 2022 - 2040.
100 points, Wine Advocate (September 2018)
A warm, ripe and healthy vintage. Expressive red berry and poached plum, as well as chocolate, clove and some licorice and fresh berry coulis. Hints of rust, terra cotta, sandalwood and orange zest, too. Primary and complex, this is very exotic. The palate has such intense tannin that carries plenty of rich fruit flavor. Powerful with plenty of extract, this has a long future. Drink over the next decade or more.
97 points, JamesSuckling.com (November 2021)