Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2006 Astralis has stunning nose redolent of warm blackberries, meat, toast and charcoal, infused with notes of smoked duck, anise and a slight bit of peat. Though still very youthful, this big, rich, and powerful full-bodied wine has firm yet velvety tannins, a vibrant acid line and is very long on the finish. Drink it now to 2026+.
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.
A big wine, but amazingly supple, graceful and pure, offering cascades of wild blueberry, black cherry and plum fruit that play against spices such as cardamom, clove and black pepper. It's all seamlessly integrated with fine tannins and enough creamy oak to complete the picture. Syrah. Drink now through 2020. 500 cases imported.Â â€“HS