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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.
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."
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
Mordoree Tavel Rose Dame Rousse is made from Grenache 60 %, Cinsault 10%, Syrah 10 %, Mourvèdre 10%, Clairette 5%, and Bourboulenc 5%.
Nose : steady rose, brilliant and limpid.
Aromas : very complex with flowers, red and white fruits aromas.
Palate : rounded, full bodied with a long lasting aniseed and fruity finish.
Ageing potential : 4 to 6 years
Surface : 9 Ha. Yield : 44 Hl./Ha. Vineyard age : 40 years Terroir : Clay / chalk and sandy with pebble stones. Harvest : by hand Vinification : 100% destemming, cold maceration during 48 h., pneumatic pressing, fermentation at 18° C. Estate bottle
Food pairing: cold meat and delicatessen, poultry, white meats, grilled meats, fried fish, fish soup, pastas, pizzas and all Asian cuisine.
"Vivid orange. Mineral- and spice-tinged red berry, pit fruit and citrus pith aromas are complemented by a sexy floral nuance. Densely packed and energetic in the mouth, offering juicy red currant, cherry, blood orange and candied rose flavors that turn sweeter through the back half. The mineral and floral notes repeat on the lively, penetrating finish, which hangs on with serious tenacity. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2021), 93 pts
Louis Jadot Nuits Saint George is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The Nuits-Saint-Georges A.C. wines are produced on land delimited by the parishes of Nuits-Saint-Georges and Premeaux-Prissey. The soils are basically composed of limestone and marl. A perfect exposure to the east gives the capacity to produce splendid wines. The grapes bear small little dark red berries. The bunches are destemmed; they macerate in open vats during 4 weeks helping this subtle terroir to reveal itself. After devatting, the wines are aged in oak barrels during 18 months.
Pairs with roasted salmon, roasted chicken, grilled red meat : beef, lamb chops, osso bucco, stew, ragout, bœuf bourguignon, duck, partridge, quail, deer, young wild boar, teppanyaki beef, mashed potatoes with salted butter, Cîteaux, Mont d’Or.
"A dark, blackberry- and black cherry–laced red, with earth and iron accents, a reserved character and a dense structure. Oak spice elements emerge on the lingering finish. Best from 2022 through 2033. 400 cases imported."
-Wine Spectator 90 Point
Loring Cooper Jaxon Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir
Aged 10 Months in French Oak (15% New)
A special blend in honor of Cooper Jaxon Loring - the next generation of Loring. We don't limit the wine to any
specific AVA, but rather look for a blend that is big, bold, and super tasty!
Juicy and vibrant, with aromas of raspberry puree, blackberry and spring flowers.
Vines are planted on Arroyo Seco Sandy Loam soils on the following vineyard sites: Rancho La Viña, Kessler-Haak, Clos Pepe, John Sebastiano, Aubaine, Rosella's and Sierra Mar.
Vinification is traditionnal with minimal intervention.
Wine went thought Malo-Lactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.
Clones: Pisoni, 113, 115, 667, 777, 23
Pairs well with steak and lamb, spicy foods & mild cheeses.
"This fun and whimsical label from Brian Loring delivers his rich style of Pinot Noir at an affordable price, offering aromas of black cherry, forest herbs, damp sage and crushed slate. The palate is earthy, offering flavors of dark berry, fennel frond, roasted meat and clove. Matt Kettmann"
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2019), 92 pts - Editors' Choice
Rubus Old Vine Zinfandel Reserve is made from 100 percent Zindandel.
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.
Rubus Reserve Pinot Noir is sourced from Russian River Valley. It shows complexity with raspberry and cherry notes that dance on the tongue.
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 Carnival of Love Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
A lively and expressive Shiraz, the 2018 Carnival of Love begins with raspberry and cassis leading the aromatics, with soft hints of butterscotch. The red fruits are rich with layers of toffee and coconut weaving through the darker plummy fruit that fills the palate. Mocha and spice add more dimensions to an already impressive array of flavors, creating a true celebration of McLaren Vale Shiraz.
Mollydooker's 2018 Carnival of Love Shiraz is more red-fruited and structured than I expected, given the wine's stated 16% alcohol. Raspberries and cedar mark the nose, with hints of chocolate, espresso and baking spices. In the mouth, it's full-bodied, dense and powerful, with ripe but firm tannins supporting the bright berry flavors, then easing into a long, velvety and mouthwatering finish. It should drink well for around a decade, but if you're shy of tannins, you may want to wait another year or two before opening.
-Wine Advocate 94 Points
Mollydooker Enchanted Path Shiraz - Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 71% Shiraz (the same juice that goes into Carnival of Love) and 29% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2018 Enchanted Path displays an inky deep color with dense hues. The journey begins with fragrant bright red fruit on the nose, followed by deeper tones of blackberry and plum jam on the palate. Well guided by precise tannins, these flavors will fully entertain your senses, giving the wine phenomenal length. The captivating interplay between the Shiraz and Cabernet provides a sophisticated mix of plum and mocha, walking beside raspberry and clove. The 2018 Enchanted Path exercises both elegance and complexity with a well-balanced finish.
A blend of 71% Shiraz (the same juice that goes into Carnival of Love) and 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Enchanted Path features slightly lifted floral and herbal aromatics and hints of cassis on the nose, while the flavors on the palate are slightly brighter and redder. It's full-bodied, richly textured and intense, with ample extract, plenty of oak and well-ripened tannins, all of which lead to a finish that's long and slightly drying at the moment. Give it another year or two in the cellar, and it should drink well for at least the next 5-6 years after that.
-Wine Advocate 93 Points
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
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.
Parcels of fruit for this wine were identified in the vineyard by the winemakers. Daily fruit inspection led to the fruit being harvested at optimum flavor ripeness. The fruit was harvested at night and quickly transported to the winery. The fruit was destemmed to 6T open fermenters for fermentation. A Shiraz specific yeast was selected to ferment the wine and fermentation was carried out at a maximum of 28°C. The fermenter was manually pumped over twice daily in the first half of fermentation to give the winemakers control of color, flavor and tannin extraction. Pump over regimes were adjusted toward the end of fermentation to suit the tannin and flavor extraction of the wine. The cap was completely broken up on each pump over. The wine remained in fermenters for 6-8 days (dependent on parcel) before being pressed, inoculated with malolactic bacteria and filled to American oak (100% new barrels). The wine was racked post malolactic fermentation and returned to the same barrels. The wine was topped every month and after six months racked and returned to the same barrels again. Prior to bottling the parcels were emptied from oak and blended. Minimal fining and filtration was carried out prior to bottling.
"Judging by the obscenely heavy packaging, this wine is going to be big—and big it is. 2018 was a wonderful vintage for Barossa Shiraz, and many producers were able to coax (with ease) abundant red fruits and balanced, ductile tannins from the grapes this season; this is no exception. The 2018 Ron Thorn Shiraz is heavily weighted down by oak at this stage, but the fruit shows the requisite muscle to fend off the oak in the long term. A very good wine, but it's definitely not ready yet. - Erin Larkin"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (September 2022), 94+ pts
Luis XIV Fondillon Oro 50 years NV is made from 100 percent 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre). Only 24 9 liter cases produced.
The wine is produced in the village of Cañada, in the subarea of Alto Vinalopó in the province of Alicante. Made from 100% Monastrell planted on traditional dry land as bush vines, at 550-580 meters above sea leval and enjoying a Mediterranean climate with great marine influence due to the easterly winds.
Fondillon 50 years is mahogany in color with orange tile rim, medium layer and great density. On the nose, it has a very deep aroma of old wood, black tea and carob. In the mouth, it has a sweet entry balanced by a rich high acidity. Its aromas are long, almost eternal and very intense. It tastes like old mahogany, a very old barrel and bygone times.
Bottled in December 2019.
CASK NAME: Saboners.
AGEING: Aged more than 50 years (single barrel).
TYPE OF WOOD: 19th-century American oak barrels
CASK SIZE: 70 “cántaros valencianos” (805 litros).
GLUCOSE AND FRUCTOSE: 34 gr/litre.
VOLATILE ACIDITY: 1.35 gr/l.
ALCOHOL: 16.2º (NO ADDED ALCOHOL).
FREE SULFITES: less than 10 mg/litre.
TOTAL SULFITES: 76 mg/litre.
"The NV Fondillón Luis XIV has the subtitle Edad Superior a 50 años (over 50 years old), and it's a dark mahogany, bottled from a single barrel that has the specific profile of a very old wine greatly concentrated by age, which tends to make it similar to other very old and concentrated wines, be it a Mediterranean rancio or a very old Moscatel. It has notes of bitter chocolate, coconut and iodine, carob beans (algarroba) and some bittersweet sensations. It's dense and concentrated, and the palate is pungent, with very intense flavors and a bitter twist in the finish. This has 16.3% alcohol, 6.45 grams of acidity and 34 grams of sugar, but it comes through as very dry. The wine is long and extraordinary, but it just doesn't have any Fondillón character after decades of concentration by evaporation. The price is ludicrous. Only 435 half-liter bottles were filled in December 2019. - Luis GUTIERREZ
- Wine Advocate (September 2020), 95 pts
"Fondillón is an extraordinary treasure of Alicante, a rare product, made from late harvest, non-botrytised grapes, unfortified, but with a final alcohol of no less than 16%. Intense, aged, but not sweet (deliciously not more than 45g/l). Fab with cheese or dark chocolate. The wines have to be a minimum of 10 years; this release is more than 25 years. The project is a revival by David Carbonell of Vins del Comtat and two local families. Very limited quantities. - Sarah Jane Evans MW"
- Decanter (December 2021, My top 10 Spanish fine wines of 2021), 95 pts
A clearly pronounced personality: powerful, sometimes wild aromas; a marked acidity, which give it a captivating freshness; a fine roundness, sometimes even opulence. In short, an intense wine which has many cards in its hand to win you over.
Notes of cherries, cassis, peonies and rich spices preface the 2020 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Aux Murgers, a medium to full-bodied, velvety and concentrated wine that's lively and penetrating. Like its 2019 predecessor, it's especially seamless and charming.
-Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92-94 Points