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Wine from Australia

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Australian wine is the fourth largest exported in the world. The country took the wine world by storm with their success of the Shiraz grape grown in the Barossa Valley. The mid to late 90’s being the peak of the Australian wine and then slowly dying down in the 2000’s. However, we have seen a recent surge once again with their mid to high end wines. We are now starting to come across some great blends from the country. Producers are getting creative. We are seeing Shriaz with a small percentage of Viognier added to sweeten the taste.

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Thorn Clarke Eden Trail Shiraz 2017

Thorn Clarke Eden Trail Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.

Lifted aromas of spicy dark cherries with a hint of cedary oak. A medium to full bodied wine; the palate is a maze of spice, pepper and dark fruits, the finish is bright and refreshingly clean.


Picked during the cool of night. An intentional minimalistic approach to winemaking to ensure the vineyard character sings. Fermented with a small percentage of stalks and whole berries, in small open fermenters and hand worked twice daily. Warm fermentation is followed by maturation in French oak barrels for 12-16 months (depending on parcel). Minimal fining and filtration prior to bottling.


Asian foods, beef, duck, hard cheese, game, smoked fish, dark chocolate.


Review:

Another very good vintage for this wine, brimming with fresh and bright fruit aromas and flavors. The plum, blackberry and red berry characters are juicy and ripe with no hint of jamminess, and there's a feeling of liveliness and buoyancy on the palate. A dash of pepper and a seasoning of oak add some complexity, and the tannin is gentle but firm enough to do its job. - James Halliday" - Halliday Wine Companion, 95 pts

 95 Points
Thorn Clarke Milton Park Chardonnay - 2019

Thorn Clarke Milton Park Chardonnay grapes were crushed, destemmed and then pressed using a membrane press. Pressings were not used. Fermented using French Yeast at 12-15 degrees Celcius. The ferment was kept slow and cool to retain all the natural flavors of the grape. The wine was then racked and filtered. Bottling took place soon afterwards so the wine was a true expression of the grape and the terroir from which it was made.


The color is a rich vibrant green. The nose shows lifted clean, sweet fruit of apricot and peach. The palate is medium to full bodied and exhibits predominantly peach and nectarine flavors, with cloves and cardamom evident from the use of a small amount of French oak. The wine finishes full and long with a nice balance of sweet fruit and creaminess.

Thorn Clarke Milton Park Chardonnay 2018

Thorn Clarke Milton Park Chardonnay grapes were crushed, destemmed and then pressed using a membrane press. Pressings were not used. Fermented using French Yeast at 12-15 degrees Celcius. The ferment was kept slow and cool to retain all the natural flavors of the grape. The wine was then racked and filtered. Bottling took place soon afterwards so the wine was a true expression of the grape and the terroir from which it was made.


The color is a rich vibrant green. The nose shows lifted clean, sweet fruit of apricot and peach. The palate is medium to full bodied and exhibits predominantly peach and nectarine flavors, with cloves and cardamom evident from the use of a small amount of French oak. The wine finishes full and long with a nice balance of sweet fruit and creaminess.

Thorn Clarke Milton Park Shiraz 2018


Thorn Clarke Milton Park Shiraz is aged for 12 months in American oak barrels.
Deep red color. The wine is deep and rich smelling with dark fruits, plums and spice with some good oak. There is very rich fruit on the palate with plums, blackberry and sweet spice from the oak. The palate is vibrant and young with a flavorsome viscous mouthfeel which will develop complexity with time. There are some slightly chewy tannins which will soften with time and there is great length of fruit flavor.

Review:

Estate-grown, crushed and destemmed, twice-daily pumpovers in the fermenter, 12 months in French oak. Deluxe treatment for a $20 wine. It is medium-bodied, and over-delivers on its price. Mouthfilling satsuma plum and blackberry compote."

- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 91 pts

 91 Points
Thorn Clarke Mt. Crawford Chardonnay 2017

Thorn Clarke Mount Crawford Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

This Chardonnay is a fine example of Mount Crawford climate, soil and aspect combining to display great varietal characters. The light green color has a vibrancy that is characteristic of the wine. Peach and tropical fruit flavors are complemented by a creamy texture from lees contact and a small amount of exposure to French oak. This also gives the wine a rich, long but clean finish with delicious white peach, pear and citrus notes.

The winemaker recommends trying this wine with chicken teppanyaki.


 

 

Thorn Clarke Mt. Crawford Riesling 2018

This Thorn Clarke Mt. Crawford Riesling is a fine example of Mount Crawford climate, soil and aspect combining to display a varietal bouquet of spicy floral characters. With fresh, crisp citrus notes and a long finish on the palate, this wine can be enjoyed with a vast array of foods. The winemaker recommends enjoying this with spicy tandoori chicken.

Review:

"A strong offering from the typically more fruit-driven Eden Valley. Lemon-lime sorbet, lavender and a little honey are wrapped in a texture that is chalky yet slippery, lifted to refreshing heights by bright, mouthwatering acidity. An affordable, food-friendly wine to keep stocked in the fridge all summer long. - CHRISTINA PICKARD"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (August 1st 2019), 90 pts and BEST BUY




 Wine Enthusiast: 90
Thorn Clarke Shotfire GSM 2018

Thorn Clarke Shotfire GSM is made from 51% Grenache, 39% Shiraz, 10% Mourvedre. 

The Shotfire range honors a family pioneer who worked the Barossa goldfields in the late 1800's. He had the hazardous job of being a 'Shotfirer'; one who handled the explosives to be used in finding that rich vein of gold.

A classic blend of the traditional stalwarts from the Barossa, this blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre is sourced from older low yielding vines.

Bright crimson in color with purple highlights at the edge of the glass.  The nose is lifted and draws you in with ripe plum, mulberry and white pepper.  The palate is plush and vibrant with cherries, forest fruits and enticing spice. As silky and smooth as it is complex and savory - the wine is beautifully balanced and juicy with great structure and generous mouthfeel. This classic GSM finishes with long, velvety tannins.


Each variety was destemmed and fermented separately - in small 6 tonne open fermenters - to allow full expression of varietal character. To ensure optimum extraction of tannins, color and flavor the Grenache was pumped over twice daily for a duration of 10 days and both the Shiraz and Mourvedre spent 7 days on skins with pump overs twice daily. Fermentation temperatures were maintained between 22-25 degrees to retain fruit purity. All batches were pressed off and once both primary alcoholic fermentation and secondary malolactic fermentation were complete the wines were then racked to new (10%) and 10 year old French hogsheads where the wines matured for a period of 18 months. Bench blends were created to ensure a harmonious final wine.

Pairs best with slow Cooked Lamb or Roasted Vegetable Medley.

Thorn Clarke Shotfire Quartage 2016

 

Thorn Clarke Shotfire Quartage is made from  47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot .

The fruit was harvested at night. Fermentation was carried out in a variety of small capacity fermenters. After pressing the parcels were filled to French oak (12 months) for maturation. The wine was racked after six months and the parcels were blended to form the final wine.

Review:

"Burnt confectionary, rich and juicy-grippy palate. Delivers a true varietal expression with a fine, integrated finish."

- Drinks Trade (June 2019), 92 pts

2016 Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Quartage Barossa Valley - 94 PTS & Gold Medal - MIWC

"It is sweetly fruited and fabulously fragrant on the nose showing blackberry, blueberry jam, vanilla, roasted nut and mixed spice characters, leading to a concentrated palate that is plump and fleshy. It is generous and flavoursome with plenty of delectable flavours, finishing long and satisfying. - Sam Kim."  - Wine Orbit (2019), 94 pts




 

 94 Points
Thorn Clarke Shotfire Quartage 2018

 

Thorn Clarke Shotfire Quartage is made from  47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot .

The fruit was harvested at night. Fermentation was carried out in a variety of small capacity fermenters. After pressing the parcels were filled to French oak (12 months) for maturation. The wine was racked after six months and the parcels were blended to form the final wine.





 

Thorn Clarke Shotfire Shiraz 2018

Thorn Clarke Shotfire Shiraz is made from 100% Shiraz. 


Striking deep red-purple in color. A rich, voluptuous wine with aromas of blackcurrant and mulberries accompanied by notes of smokey oak and hints of cloves. The palate is filled with dark fruits and chocolate backed up by taut tannins and lingering oak.

Review:

"Destemmed, pressed approximately 7 days later, 14 months in American oak (40% new). Rich, layered, mocha/chocolate overtones to the black berry fruits are obvious."
-  Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 92 pts

Story:

When the Clarke forebearers discovered gold in 1870 at the Lady Alice mine in the Barossa goldfields, so began a family dynasty intrigued by geology. A fine legacy that is reflected today in the terroir of our vineyards. The Shotfire range immortalizes the Shotfirer's hazardous job of setting and lighting the charges in the mines.


Fran shares his story on how he discovered Thorn-Clarke:
     "It was October 2001 and I was searching for and sourcing for Australian wines, as it was clear that Australia was going to become the "next big thing." After tasting about 100 assorted wines, I decided I liked the style of Barossa, Shiraz best - chocolate, cherries, mint and eucalyptus - so I started focusing on Barossa growers (years later, Barossa Shiraz would develop its reputation as the Icon Shiraz for Australia).
     Late on a Thursday afternoon, the carrier delivered a beat-up box of 12 bottles from Australia, 10 of which were leaking. The box was from a guy named Steve Machin, who had just left Hardy's and was beginning work with the Clarke family on setting up a possible new brand. The samples were sticky and messy, but I popped the corks anyway ..... and I was glad that I did. The wine inside tasted like Christmas - mint, eucalyptus, camphor, and evergreen aromas. Great acidity, color, flavor and length of finish - very tasty. These samples were so good and so exciting, especially compared to what I had tasted prior, that I immediately called the number on the card. I didn't realize that it was a Perth number (Western Australia) and it was actually 3:00 in the morning. It turned out I was calling the residence of David and Cheryl Clarke, where a sleepy Cheryl answered the phone. I told her, you don't know who I am, but we are going to be doing business together very soon, and lots of it! After a few months of talking, faxing (yes, faxing) and sorting out the details, I began importing their wines.
     That super-star wine from the busted box of samples is the wine we know today as Shotfire Shiraz. It was originally called Stone Jar, but fortunately we came up with a better name. Many years and vintages later, I'm still glad to be importing Shotfire Shiraz and other Thorn-Clarke selections .... and I'm still glad that Cheryl Clarke woke up for that phone call."



 92 Points
Thorn Clarke Single Vineyard Grenache 2018

Ruby in colour with purple hues.  Brimming with bright fruit notes of wild strawberries & cherry and backed up by subtle spice of white pepper.  On the palate, the fruit continues with further notes of raspberries and plum with a hint of French oak.  A juicy medium bodied red that has a delicate and complex finish.

This wine has had partial whole bunch fermentation in 4 tonne open fermenters for a duration of 10 days on skins. The wine was then pressed off to 15% New French oak barrels and matured for 18 months prior to being racked for bottling. This wine has had no filtration.

The 2018 growing season had all the hallmarks of a classic vintage.  Consistent warm temperatures produced perfect conditions for our red varieties to ripen.  This along with good winter rains and a dry harvest period resulted in wines with great depth of varietal flavours, excellent tannin structure and colour along with a long balanced finish.  Reds from 2018 will age well due to their intense concentration and power.

Review:

"60yo vines, partial whole bunch fermentation,10 days on skins, pressed to French oak (15% new)for 18 months maturation. The medley of forest floor fruits (wild strawberry, raspberry) with very good length and balance."
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 95 pts

 95 Points
Thorn Clarke Single Vineyard Mataro 2018

Thorn Clarke Single Vineyard Mataro is made from 100 percent Mataro.

The Single Vineyard Selection range focuses on single site, small batch wines, highlighting the true characteristics of each individual variety. Each block is hand selected by our winemaker and viticulturist each year, choosing the wines that best reflect the strengths of each individual vintage.

Striking with its inky red color and purple hues, a hallmark of a classic vintage. On the nose, briary black fruits are in abundance. Notes of Chinese five spice and currants also shine through. On the palate, blackberries and winter spice are evident. The generous and silky tannins in this wine support a long and complex finish.

The grapes were destemmed and fermented in 4 tonne open fermenters for a period of 10 days. The wine was pressed off into 10 year old oak where it was matured for a duration of 18 months before being racked in preparation for bottling. This wine has no filtration.

Review:

"From one of the Hoffmann family's Ebenezer district vineyards, the 2018 Single Vineyard Selection Mataro matured exclusively in older oak. It's earthy and complex, with notes of cola, sarsaparilla and allspice on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is savory and softly dusty, ending in a wash of ripe tannins.- Joe Czerwinski"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (July 2020), 90 pts

 Wine Advocate: 90
Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon  is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

The range is named is named in honor of the rich soils in the region which are a major factor in the Barossa’s reputation as one of the great wine regions of the world.

The wine shows a bright red with a purple hue on release. Lifted blackcurrant balances the fresh herb characters on the nose. A hint of eucalyptus is evident. The palate has bright currant characters throughout. Spice and chocolate add to the complexity of the wine. The tannins are ripe and grainy and give the wine good structure.

   Review:

"Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of plum pudding, raspberry jam, cinnamon mocha latte, licorice, dark chocolate, and eucalyptus with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, subtle, medium-long finish that presents shades of key lime pie, candied jalepeno, and orange marmalade. An inky, powerful Barossa Valley Cabernet."
- Tastings (2019), 91 pts - EXCEPTIONAL - BEST BUY

 91 Points
Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz 2018

Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz

Comments

Deep purple red. Aromas of ripe plums, cherries and earth with subtle notes of vanilla and cloves. The aromas follow through onto the palate with a fruit focus, subtle oak notes and soft, rounded tannins. The wine walks the line between medium and full bodied with a plush mouthfeel.

Vinification Notes

The grapes are crushed and de-stemmed into fermenters. Yeast is added immediately once in fermenter and the ferments are pumped over twice daily to maximise colour, tannin and flavour extraction. Cooling is used to ensure ferment temperatures remain in the 22-25 degree celcius range which will allow the fruit to display maximum fruit expression. Pressing then occurs approximately seven days after crushing and the  wine is then put into predominately American oak to mature.


Review:


"Estate-grown, crushed and destemmed, twice-daily pumpovers in the fermenter, 12 months in French oak. Deluxe treatment for a $20 wine. It is medium-bodied, and over-delivers on its price. Mouthfilling satsuma plum and blackberry compote. - James Halliday"

- Halliday Wine Companion, 91 pts


 91 Points
Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz Cabernet Petit Verdot 2014

Made from 69% Shiraz, 21%, Cabernet Sauvignon, 10%, Petit Verdot

The color is a deep inky purple. The nose is a complex mixture of lifted berry fruit, pencil shavings/chocolate oak and ripe plums, with a floral lift from the Petit Verdot component. The palate is medium to full bodied. Due to the complexity of the blend, the palate starts with sweet plums and spice and then turns to blackcurrants and liquorice with dark chocolate interwoven throughout the mouth. Soft and sweet tannins then follow on with some great sweet fruit.

Pairs well with sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto ravioli.

Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz Cabernet Petit Verdot Cuvee 2016

Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz Cabernet Petit Verdot Cuvee is made from 69% Shiraz, 21%, Cabernet Sauvignon, 10%, Petit Verdot

The color is a deep inky purple. The nose is a complex mixture of lifted berry fruit, pencil shavings/chocolate oak and ripe plums, with a floral lift from the Petit Verdot component. The palate is medium to full bodied. Due to the complexity of the blend, the palate starts with sweet plums and spice and then turns to blackcurrants and liquorice with dark chocolate interwoven throughout the mouth. Soft and sweet tannins then follow on with some great sweet fruit.

The fruit was harvested at night when the fruit was deemed to be ripe by our winemakers. Warm fermentation was carried out in a mix of potter and open fermenter. Extended time on skins adds to the texture of the wine. The wine was matured in French oak for ten months prior to blending and bottling.

Pairs well with sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto ravioli.

Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz Winemaker's Selection 2016 (liter)

Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz Winemaker's Selection is made from 100 percent Shiraz.

Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz Winemaker's Selection palate is rich and full with spicy plums and creamy oak. The tannins are fine and give the wine great length of flavor and a superb smooth mouthfeel. Pairs well with foods with richness and flavor such as meat based pasta dishes, red meats or hard cheese.

Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet 2017

Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet is made from 100 percent Cabernet

The William Randell range of wines were created in honor of the family ancestor - the esteemed pioneer William Richard Randell (1824 - 1911). The wines are sourced solely from grapes grown on the family estate vineyards. Wines in this range are only made in exceptional vintages.

Deep red in colour. The nose is lifted and expressive with lovely Christmas cake and mint characters along with black olives and tobacco leaf adding complexity. The palate is medium to full bodied with blueberry and hints of cassis as the primary fruit flavours. The palate has great poise with the vibrant fruit, spicy French oak and fine tannin structure all wonderfully balanced, and the wine finishes with great length of fruit.





Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (magnum)

COMMENTS
Deep red in colour. The nose is lifted and expressive with lovely Christmas cake and mint characters along with black olives and tobacco leaf adding complexity. The palate is medium to full bodied with blueberry and hints of cassis as the primary fruit flavours. The palate has great poise with the vibrant fruit, spicy French oak and fine tannin structure all wonderfully balanced, and the wine finishes with great length of fruit.

VINIFICATION NOTES
The fruit was harvested at night. Fermentation was carried out in a variety of small capacity fermenters. After pressing the parcels were filled to French oak for maturation. The wine was racked after six months and the parcels were blended to form the final wine.

MATURATION
The wine was matured in a temperature controlled barrel hall for 16 months in French hogsheads (barrels).

VINTAGE NOTES
Average winter rainfall in 2009 resulted in good soil moisture in the 2010 growing season. This combined with moderate weather conditions through most of the growing season allowed for good fruit set and canopy development. 

HARVESTED
March 2010

"Full crimson-purple; while quite soft overall, both in fruit and tannin terms, the wine is full-bodied and fleshy, with dark chocolate and licorice joining the blackcurrant fruit and cedary oak. 14% alc."
James Halliday's TOP 100 over $20 (November 2012), 97 pts

"This Eden Valley wine displays classic Cabernet structure. It’s full-bodied and powerful, but never jammy or soft, like some Barossa Cabs. Vanilla accents pristine cassis fruit, which shows enormous depth. Drink 2018–2025, and very possibly beyond. -Joe Czerwinski"
Wine Enthusiast (April 2014)94 pts + CELLAR SELECTION

GOLD AT 2012 HOBART WINE SHOW

GOLD AT 2012 NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL WINE SHOW
GOLD AT 2012 QUEENSLAND WINE SHOW
SILVER AT 2012 ADELAIDE WINE SHOW
SILVER AT 2012 CHINA WINE AND SPIRIT AWARDS
BRONZE AT 2012 BAROSSA WINE SHOW
BRONZE AT 2012 INTERNATIONAL WINE AND SPIRIT COMPETITION
BRONZE AT 2012 MELBOURNE WINE SHOW
BRONZE AT 2012 SPEIGELAU INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION (NZ)
BRONZE AT 2013 INTERNATIONAL WINE CHALLENGE

 Wine Enthusiast: 94 97 Points
Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet is made from 100 percent Cabernet

Deep red in colour. The nose is lifted and expressive with lovely Christmas cake and mint characters along with black olives and tobacco leaf adding complexity. The palate is medium to full bodied with blueberry and hints of cassis as the primary fruit flavours. The palate has great poise with the vibrant fruit, spicy French oak and fine tannin structure all wonderfully balanced, and the wine finishes with great length of fruit.


Review:

GOLD MEDAL
- International Wine & Spirits Competition 2017

"The 2015 William Randell Cabernet Sauvignon is a single-vineyard, Eden Valley bottling with plenty of intensity and varietal character. Mint and cassis notes dominate, but there's a healthy portion of new French oak that shows as well, adding lovely notes of baking spices and vanilla. Full-bodied and velvety in texture, it still shows enough delineation and length to please purists. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 93 pts

 Wine Advocate: 93
Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet is made from 100 percent Cabernet

The William Randell range of wines were created in honor of the family ancestor - the esteemed pioneer William Richard Randell (1824 - 1911). The wines are sourced solely from grapes grown on the family estate vineyards. Wines in this range are only made in exceptional vintages.

Deep red in colour. The nose is lifted and expressive with lovely Christmas cake and mint characters along with black olives and tobacco leaf adding complexity. The palate is medium to full bodied with blueberry and hints of cassis as the primary fruit flavours. The palate has great poise with the vibrant fruit, spicy French oak and fine tannin structure all wonderfully balanced, and the wine finishes with great length of fruit.


Review:

"From the cool Milton Park and St Kitts Vineyards, destemmed, open-fermented, 10 days on skins, matured for 16 months in French hogsheads (35% new). The vintage was made to measure for cabernet in this district, the wine revelling in its full-bodied guise. Blackcurrant, black olive, dark chocolate and cedar sweep you along – relax and enjoy it."
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 96 pts



 96 Points
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