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James Goddard was an ancestor of the Clarke family. Born in West Sussex, England in 1823, James spent his 74 years as a sailor, a whaler, a bullock driver, farmer, prospector, miner and hotel keeper. From an illiterate runaway living rough on the streets of London, he became a rich, successful and admired pillar of South Australian society.
James arrived in Adelaide in 1839 as a 16-year-old sailor. Twelve years later, his life changed forever with the news of gold findings. For the next 20 years, James roamed the country learning the geology that improved his chances of prospecting.
James Goddard Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
In 1870, he tried his luck near his farm in the Barossa Valley and discovered the region’s first gold deposits, creating the prosperous Lady Alice Mine. The Lady Alice Mine, though it is no longer operational, was & still is the most successful gold mine in South Australia. From these roots, the Thorn-Clarke family has been connected to the region for the last 150 years.
James Goddard Shiraz is a blend Shiraz sourced from the Milton Park vineyard in the north of Eden Valley, and the St Kitts vineyard in the far northern area of the Barossa. Fruit is harvested in the cool of the night to maintain maximum flavour and freshness and it is fermented for 8 days. The ferment is pumped over twice daily to extract the colour and flavour from the fruit. Once finished fermentation the wine was then matured in a blend of French and American oak for a period of 10 to 12 months depending on the vintage.
Deep vibrant red with purple hues to the rim. The nose shows lifted plums, vibrant purple berries and a delicate spice note. The palate has concentrated satsuma plum, blackberry with lovely charry oak in the background. Long, juicy and even with plush fruit on the finish.
“Blended from two estate vineyards, St. Kitts and Milton Park, this shiraz offers its richness without any aggression or overt perfume. It’s just lush and delicious, a friendly embrace of firm tannins and purple-red fruit. The texture and flavor combine in a saturated meatiness, for Korean barbecue.”
- Wine & Spirits Magazine, 92 points
The Thorn Clarke Estate
The winery owners are David and Cheryl Clarke (born Thorn) and their son Sam is the manager of the winery. The Thorn-Clarke family has a long history in the Barossa - six generations of involvement in the region's world famous wine industry. The Thorns have been grape growers in the Barossa since the 1870's. David Clarke's passion for the wine industry lead to the planting of the Kabininge vineyard outside of Tanunda in 1987, which represents the start of a deeper involvement by the family in the Barossa wine industry.
The Thorn Clarke Vineyards
St Kitts and Truro Vineyards--Cooler, and with lower rainfall, these northern Barossa vineyards totaling 103 hectares, are at an elevation of between 380 and 410 meters.
Mt Crawford Vineyard--Late ripening, high rainfall and with elevations as high as 475 meters above sea level, this 37 hectare Eden Valley vineyard can easily be confused with the Adelaide Hills - which is after all just across the range. This site was specially selected as it was considered ideal to grow grape varieties which respond to cold climate.
Kabininge Vineyard--In stark contrast, the 33 hectare Kabininge vineyard is true Barossa Valley floor terroir. At just 270 meters above sea level red winegrapes ripen easily here.
Milton Park Vineyard--Located in classic Eden Valley country, between Angaston and Keyneton, the Milton Park vineyard has an elevation of between 330 and 400 meters above sea level.
Xavier Vignon Cotes du Rhone Rouge Cuvee Vieilles Vignes Organic is made from 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah and 5% Cinsault.
The diversity of terroirs used in this blend allows this wine to combine freshness and balance.
We used Clay and limestone plots located on the hillside where old Grenache naturally express roasted hints. We could obtain in this wine empyreumatical hints without the use of barrels. These plots particular soils and orientation allowed grapes to reach an optimal level of ripeness while conserving a good acidity level.
We also integrated grapes coming from plots located on red rocky clay soils also named “garrigues”. These big red stone are restituting heat coming from the sun at night and bring power and structure to the wine.
Also the blend features vines coming from sandy clays, which are light and rather fresh soils: this allowed the wine to maintain a freshness and vivacity.
Bouquet of cassis, blueberries, lavender, cured meats, and graphite. It's deep, rich, medium to full-bodied, and has a great finish. The Mourvèdre keeps this tight and fresh.
Pairs with grilled beef rib - Veal Columbo - Pork ribs slightly spiced
The 2017 Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is a smoking good Côtes du Rhône and offers full-bodied aromas and flavors of blackberries, black raspberries, cassis, lavender, and flowers. It's rich and concentrated, yet also elegant, weightless, and layered, with notable complexity. -Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 Points
Cabrieres Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Les Silex is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah .
The vineyard is situated on the high tablelands, which are characteristic of the northern area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The terrain consists mainly of alpine diluvium and chalky Miocenian soil, with large flint pebbles covering the surface. These pebbles conserve the heat of the day during the night, thus avoiding too much evaporation.
This 2016 has opened up and is drinking great right now. A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Elegant cherry red color, with expressive notes of red fruits (strawberry and raspberry). Mellow tannins, well-balanced on the palate. I feel I need to point out the freshness, it is bright and lively on the palate, something we don’t see a lot of in this region. This also makes it extremely food friendly as it can hold up to fatty proteins.
Very good with white meat, red meat, charcuterie and cheese.
"Silex refers to the large, flint pebbles that cover this northern Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard and it's hard not to notice their salty, smoky undertones in this deeply fruity, penetrating red. The palate of this unoaked blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah highlights youthful, ripe black-cherry and plum flavors coated in soft, silky tannins and a lift of minerality. Delicious young, the wine should hold through 2025. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (October 2021), 94 pts
Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac is made from 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre
An intense red garnet color. On the nose, aromas of red and black ripe fruit (kirsch and wild blackberry). The mouth is full, with aromas of blackcurrant liqueur and spice. Tannins are both harmonious and elegant thanks to the fleshiness of the wine. Hints of licorice and vanilla on the finish, which gives the wine length and complexity.
Soil type LIRAC vineyard is facing Chateauneuf du Pape, opposite side of the Rhône river. As showed by the picture and following geologist George Truc, soils are almost similar in both side. They are marked by the violence wrought by the Rhone river. It consists of a layer of marine molasses of the Miocene period covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones known as "galets" in the earth is evidence of the time when the Rhone, then a torrent, tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them on the plain. LIRAC is one of the up-coming best area from the southern Rhône valley, as it delivers outstanding wines. Winemaking & ageing Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Hand sorted bunches, crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages.
"The Lirac from this estate is the 2017 Lirac Clos de Sixte. It's another deep purple-colored effort offering powerful notes of ripe black cherries, melted licorice, violets, and pepper. Full-bodied, forward, ripe, and flamboyantly styled, it's packed with fruit and texture. Drink it over the coming 4-6 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August16th 2019), 92 pts
"Juicy and compact still, with concentrated plum and black currant paste flavors coated with licorice and backed by a roasted alder spine. Lingering bay and menthol hints too. Drink now through 2026. 3,000 cases made, 1,800 cases imported. - JM"
- Wine Spectator (October 2021), 91 pts
"There’s no missing the huge black-fruit character of this full-bodied but well-balanced Lirac. Excellent integration of tannins, fruit and alcohol, Touches of tar, licorice and Mediterranean herbs add interest, particularly at the supple finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (February 2022), 92 pts
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.
This is an attractively spicy wine on the nose with red, blue and black berries all in play, as well as an earthy edge and tarry elements. Some perfume, too. The palate has quite a deep-set, blue and black-fruit core with a long, sturdy palate that holds flavor and focus well. Drink or hold. Screw cap."
- James Suckling (November 2021), 92 pts
"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
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."
Chakana Estate Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.
hakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people.
The "yaguarete" (jaguar) on the label was known by the ancient Andean people as the "lord of the starred night"; the wildest known animal.
Chakana Estate Malbec is from Chakana's Altamira (3,200 ft elevation) and Gualtallary (5,500 ft elevation) vineyards.
The color is deep purple, very intense, typical of Malbec. Plum, brambly berries, spices and an iris/violet note are apparent on the nose. Intense, fruity flavors with velvety tannins.
"The 2019 Malbec Estate Selection is a combination of grapes from different GIs in the Uco Valley (55% Altamira, 25% Gualtallary and 20% Los Chacayes,) of which 70% is aged in used French barrels. A vivid violet in color. The nose offers precise and attractive notes of fresh, sour cherry and plum with expressive hints of lavender, violet and thyme. The ripeness of the grapes in each region was judged perfectly for the style. In the mouth, it is a compendium of flavors gently marshalled by fine, reactive tannins and a chalky texture that ensures good performance in the bottle. With juicy, well-integrated freshness and fruity flavor at the back of the mouth, this is a wine that has you reaching for another glass. An accomplished take on an Uco Valley Malbec. - Joaquín Hidalgo"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 94 pts
This wine is our tribute to the flagship grape variety of Rioja Baja. Garnacha has been grown in Alfaro for many
centuries in perfect balance with the local soils and climate which result in our intensely fruity wines,
full-bodied and with velvety soft tannins. Deep and brilliant cherry color; red wild berries, violet and subtle
spice on the nose; the taste sensation is rich, long, and very smooth.
Excellent when combined with red meat, pasta dishes and even chocolate desserts.
"Shows a lots of ripe garnacha character with strawberry and dry-earth aromas and flavors. Medium body, medium tannins and a juicy finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now."
- James Suckling (July 2019), 91 pts
GOLD MEDAL - Vinalies International Competition 2017
The Factor is predominantly from the Gomersal and Marananga sub-regions of the Barossa, providing dense texture and richness to the palate with subtle notes of olive tapenade, saddle leather and minerals. Ripe aromas of plum and wild blackberries, olive, pepper and spice are all supported by a dark core of espresso roast, ripe blackberries and saltbush. Brooding and densely packed, this lavish wine has ample generosity to cellar for many years, where it will slowly unravel.
A blend of parcels that sees a 24-month elevage in barriques and has Western Barossa black fruit, as well as a strong, savory, tarry thread, spiced earth and orange peel. Very velvety tannins, packed with rich dark fruit that drive so so long. The cooler vintage has dialed this in nicely. So much concentrated flavor. Seamless texture. Excellent length. A great Factor!
-James Suckling 96 Points
Aged in about 50% new French oak and built for cellaring, the 2018 The Factor is a concentrated, structured Shiraz that should age well for up to two decades. Scents of cedar shavings and vanilla mark the nose, while the full-bodied palate folds in notes of ripe blackberries and mulberries, plus hints of baking spices. Complex, firm and age-worthy, with a long, focused finish, it should be at its best after about five more years.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
The Kasteelberg range of wines, celebrates the discovery of Riebeek and the Kasteelberg mountains in 1661. Kasteelberg stands sentinel over the fertile valley below. From the slopes of the mountains, hand-selected grapes are expertly crafted with care to produce rare and expressive wines. The Kasteelberg range truly is the pinnacle of our Winemaker's art.
Often referred to as Shiraz Country, the Riebeek Valley is renowned for exceptional Shiraz wines.
The Kasteelberg Shiraz is a lively rich wine, full bodied with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a pallet of ripe fruit and interesting spice.
Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavors of Christmas pudding.
Serve at room temperature. The perfect companion to barbequed lamb, fillet medallions and game. Lovely with Springbok stuffed with bacon, garlic and rosemary and a great match to a cheese and preserve platter.
"I'd expect to prefer the 2017 Shiraz to the 2018 bottling, but it's actually the reverse. Maybe Alecia Boshoff has just got more experience with the fruit from this Kasteelberg site. Sweet and spicy, with enticing incense and violet aromas, fine tannins, succulent red berry fruit and deftly integrated one-third new oak. 2021-26"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 92 pts
Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
Sticky plum jam and spicy nutmeg aromas are alluringly prominent on the nose, whilst berries and mocha weave
and envelop your entire palate. The finish is incredibly smooth and silky, with elegant fruit flavors that linger in your mouth. An outstanding example of a perfectly balanced Shiraz from McLaren Vale.
The most dense and concentrated of the current Mollydooker offerings is the 2018 Velvet Glove Shiraz. Because of that, it's also among the most fruit-forward, with the oak elements of vanilla, mocha and cedar pushed into the background in favor of ripe raspberries and blackberries. Taut and focused for its size, this full-bodied effort is smooth and creamy textured on the palate, where the fruit glides into a long, velvety finish.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
Rubus Old Vine Shiraz Barossa Valley is a blend of 98% Shiraz & 2% Viognier, this richly concentrated Barossa Shiraz is indicative of the style for which Australia's top production region is famous. The wine is dark in color, rich and dense. There are ample tannins balanced by the powerful fruit. You will note the hints of blackberries, mint, and eucalyptus flavors upfront and in the finish. Try Rubus Barossa Shiraz with rich dishes like lamb shank, Osso bucco, beef steak or roast duck.
"Blackberry, currant and blueberry flavors are dense, intense and powerful, mingling with black licorice, sage and spice notes, with a brambly undertone. A spicy hint lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2030. 1,200 cases made. - MaryAnn Worobiec"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th 2018), 90 pts
Rubus Special Edition Barossa Shiraz is made from 100 percent
The Rubus Project was created by Fran Kysela as a way to source & sell incredible wines at value prices. All wines in this international project are hand-selected by Fran Kysela. Rubus wines are fruit driven, true-to-type values that over deliver - a true representation of quality for the consumer at an excellent price.
Deep red with a slight purple hue on release. The wine has a rich mix of dark chocolate infused with coffee bean and black liquorice, then scents of tar, aniseed, raw (pure) soy and black olive on the nose. The palate is expansive, and yet balanced and finessed. An amalgam of dark berried flavors and textural sensations. The 100% new oak is completely absorbed, meshed with ripe tannins, completing a palate of impressive length and youthfulness.
Sourced from Thorn-Clarke’s St Kitts vineyard (Block 7) in the far north of the Barossa, the Rubus Reserve demonstrates both the strengths of the region and the unique characters of the vineyard.
A thin layer of topsoil over weathered marble, schist and shale mean the vines work hard to source water and nutrients. The result is naturally low yields concentrating the power and density of the fruit. Diurnal temperature variation is another important aspect of St. Kitts. Warm daytime temperatures are followed by cool nights with variations of up to 30°C (55°F) from the peak during the day into the cool night minimums.
"Made by Thorn-Clarke for the US market, this has a rich and vivid nose with blueberry, violet, dark plum and subtle oak spice in play. The palate has a succulent feel with plenty of rich, open-knit blackberry and blueberry flavor. Smoothly delivered tannins carry long and even. Drink over the next decade."
- James Suckling (November 2021), 94 pts
Schwarz The Schiller Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
The Schiller Shiraz is a wine rich in both flavor and history. The 400 Shiraz vines planted by Carl August Otto Schiller in 1881 are something to be treasured. Earmarked for bulldozers in 2006, a last minute reprieve would see these Ancestor vines remain in the ground. The grapes are hand-picked from the sixth generation Schiller family vineyard at Hallett Valley in the Barossa. Jason first made this wine in 2008, and since then it has been his flagship wine.
Opens quickly to luxe fruits, black plum & fruits of the forest, building in layers of toasty smoked bacon, tobacco leaf and Mediterranean herbs with nuances of spice and earthy tones. A luxurious palate of old vine fruits, savory overtones and fine slippery tannins. A long harmonious finish.
Its beautiful salmon-pink color hints at the enjoyment that awaits you. Alluring aromatics spill out of the glass, with scents of fresh-cut ripe strawberry, candied rose petal, cotton candy and bubble gum harmonizing together and inviting deeper inspection. In the mouth, the first sensation is one of volume and a cacophony of lush ripe fruit flavors, followed by a zingy, green apple acidity and a slight mouth-watering frizzante, the trademark of Patton Valley Rosé. One glass is never enough.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Snake Oil needs a little swirling to reveal emerging notes of freshly crushed blackcurrants, blackberry pie and mulberries plus suggestions of tilled soil, cedar chest and Indian spices with a touch of roses. The full-bodied palate completely coats the mouth with opulent black fruit preserves and exotic spice layers, supported by velvety tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and perfumed.
-Wine Advocate 93+ Points
The 2018 Priest Ranch Snake Oil is all Cabernet Sauvignon, from a trio of hillside vineyards on the Somerston Estate. It has beautiful blueberry and plum fruits as well as notes of sappy herbs, violets, and bouquet garni. More medium-bodied, focused, and elegant, it shines for its purity, freshness, and length. It’s a classic 2018 that will have 15+ years of longevity.
-Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Our 2018 Snake Oil was handpicked, sorted, and fermented naturally, then aged for 24 months in 75% new French oak barrels and 25% once-used French oak barrels.
The early half of 2018 brought us moderate temperature allowing for a long growing season. We had a majority of our rainfall in February followed by a mild Spring. Then summer brought consistent temperatures with little heat spikes. This weather allowed for longer hang time and for the fruit to ripen at a slower rate. The 2018 harvest at our estate began in late August and resulted in exceptional quality.