Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2006
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+.
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.
Saturated purple. Deep, pungent and exotic on the nose, offering a seductive array of lush dark berries, flowers and Asian spices. Initially subtle graphite and iron notes gain strength with air and carry onto the palate. Expansive blackberry and mulberry flavors are reined in by smoky minerals but gain sweetness with air, with candied violet and lavender qualities emerging. For all its power, there's an uncanny weightless character contributed by minerality. Finishes with a wallop of sweet dark berries and persistent floral notes. A stunner, and more accessible than the 2005 was at the same stage. I was pleased to see that the prices of these wines have dropped quite a bit since last year, which is welcome news in light of the weak U.S. dollar.