Wine Advocate 99 points - 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+. (Feb 2014)
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This is Clarendon Hills’ flagship wine. It is a member of Clarendon Hills’ ‘ 1er Grand Cru’ classification.
Every year, the Astralis vineyard produces the most beautiful wine in our cellar. Despite its non-differentiated treatment in the cellar, it always reveals the most rounded, sublime and seamless expression of syrah which ages like a rock.
The vast wealth of this wine’s varietal depth extends beyond the parameters of syrah - beckoning superlatives. Amazingly svelte in its balance of varietal depth with restrained power and super finely integrated extract, it is light on its feet and majestic once in focus. Overriding harmony meets an anarchical expression of Australian classic syrah. Lifted florals dance with rich meats, coffee, cola, chocolate, pan forte, turkish delight, graphite, bitumen, cigar tobacco, black cardamom, good quality soy sauce and crushed rocks. It is dense, yet creamy smooth.
This is a wine that is always the most beautiful in our cellar. We recommend it is always decanted. Only the patient will recoup the full dividend of cellaring this masterpiece.
Despite being treated and managed in the same manner as all of Clarendon Hills’ vineyards, this one attracts global attention. This is due to its incredible expression, classic demeanour and timeless elegance. This vineyard was planted in 1920 on a 45º degree, ascending slope. It faces due-east and has a top soil layer of pebble-ridden clay and subsoil layer of pure ironstone. The site was once trellised, but now these stately vines are farmed as they grow, without trellising.
Situated on the coastline of Hawke’s Bay, the Te Awanga sub-region enjoys a warm extended growing season with cleansing sea breezes. The unique proximity to the Pacific Ocean offers an excellent microclimate for producing wines with great fruit intensity. In 1986, when Tim Turvey and partner, Helma van den Berg, purchased a property in Hawke’s Bay, they were told it was “too cold to grow wine grapes.” Tim and Helma ignored this advice and planted 2,500 trees, including avocados, olives, bay trees, lavender and citrus. They also grafted and planted the vines, rammed the posts, ran the wires and trained young vines themselves.
The winemaking philosophy of Clearview Estate is to make fruit driven wines, representative of the terroir of Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay style. Reserve whites and reds are infused with the complexity of barrel ferments and French oak influence. Complexities are achieved from skin contact, whites, extended maceration, reds, lees stirring and contact, malolactic fermentation and SUPER ripe fruit. With over 40 soil types within the kilometer of land that the vineyard straddles, it ranges from shingle through silt loams to clay pan and well-drained loams.
Tim Turvey has been working on the land in Hawke’s Bay for thirty-five years. Grape growing and winemaking for twenty-five years, he is the trophy holder of many gold medal wines. He set up Clearview from the start on bare land and manages all aspects of grape growing, winemaking and distribution for this small hands-on winery. Quality and passion are his hallmarks with a vision of continued excellence for the future.