Monday, April 19, 2010

Clarendon Hills Brookman Syrah

Roman Bratusiuk and his wines at Clarendon Hills are not often mentioned when it comes to leading Australian wines, yet few would argue that his Astralis in good years is remarkable. There are probably three reasons for this: the wines are very expensive, there is a large array of single vineyard, small volume labels, and Roman is not very visible or supporting certain reviewers.

I always hold a small number of his wines. The 2004 Clarendon Hills Brookman Syrah has an impenetrable dark colour. The fruit is very concentrated and rich with an overwhelming taste of black cherries. Despite the richness, the wine is quite elegant. It has a big mouthfeel, and on the first night, the fruit was so dominant that it felt almost like drinking concentrated fruit juice. On the 2nd day, earthy flavours came through on the back palate and pleasing tannins lead to a long finish.

At six years, the wine tasted quite young. The fruit ripeness is certainly not impacting the ability to age this wine. On the downside, there is a lack of differentiation in the flavour. It hits you like a brick wall.

Score: 93/+

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