| Wine Spectator 97 points
Deep, dense and brooding. A smoky, thick Shiraz that feels open and welcoming as the finish expands and persists. Cherry, chocolate and espresso notes mingle harmoniously and hint at loamy earth as the finish sails on and on. Best from 2010 through 2020. 500 cases imported. Score: 97. —Harvey Steiman, October 15, 2006.
Wine Advocate 98 points (Oct 2006)
One of Australia’s most prodigious Syrahs, Clarendon Hills’ 2004 Syrah Astralis is fashioned from vines planted in 1920, and spends time in 100% new French oak from the cooper, Cadus. It boasts off the charts intensity as well as an opaque purple color, and notes of spring flowers, blueberries, blackberries, roasted coffee beans, pepper, smoke, and a hint of sweet toasty oak. This full-bodied, rich, intense, backward Syrah needs 2-3+ hours in the decanter if one is going to approach it at this point in its life. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+.
Wine Enthusiast 98 points
The flagship of the Clarendon Hills line, this comes from a patch of 80-year-old vines that winemaker Bratasiuk claims routinely provides his best fruit. The 2004 is a stunner, yielding up scents of flowers and spice, framed by hints of vanillin oak. It's dense and amply textured in the mouth, packed with wonderfully expressive blackberry and blueberry fruit, then shows layers of rich tannins on the finish that leave no doubt this needs time in the cellar to show its best. This is a tour de force of Australian winemaking that should be consumed 2010 - 2025.