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Astralis 2009

Clarendon Hills

Case Format: 6x75cl

Max score: 97.0

Astralis, a wine of celestial proportions, hails from the heart of Australia, where the ancient soils of Clarendon give rise to a Shiraz of unparalleled depth and character.

Founded by Biochemist Roman Bratasiuk in 1990, this self-taught winemaker has had a marked impact on Australian viticulture. Employing low-yield single vineyards that include old vines of around 80-90 years of age, Bratasiuk’s philosophy is somewhat Burgundian.

Out of his 19 single vineyard wines, Astralis came to the market in 1994 as a rebrand of the previous Clarendon Hills Shiraz. It was instantly hailed a success and continues to be one of the estate’s most successful wines.

The grapes are all hand-harvested before undergoing fermentation in open-top fermenters, allowing for optimal extraction of flavours and tannins. The wine then matures in new French oak barrels for an extended period, often exceeding 18 months. This oak aging imparts structure, elegance, and a seamless integration of flavour.

In the glass, Astralis unveils a profound inky hue, captivating with aromas of dark berries, black cherries, and subtle hints of spice and eucalyptus. Its velvety tannins bend through flavours of blackcurrant, plums and dark chocolate.

With an ABV of 14.5%, Astralis represents the bold, full-bodied and intense Shiraz of which Australia is often famed.

£950.00 IN BOND


James Suckling

Volatile spring weather and an uneven fruit set with a warm, early summer. The nose has aromas of forest wood, earthy notes and dry spices with blueberries and blackberries on offer. The palate has a thread of black tea-like flavor with essence-like concentration of dark plum. The tannins are slightly raised. Drink over the next five years.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

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+. 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.


Please note the price indicated by Duty Paid shows the cost of the wine with the applicable taxes (Duty & VAT) added.
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