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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.
"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.
"Ethereal nose with high class aromas of cigar box, smoke and dried fruits. Beautiful palate power with fantastic elegance."
- Decanter World Wine Awards 2021, 93 pts - Silver Medal
Cortenova Primitivo is made from 100% Primitivo
The grapes are harvested and immediately pressed at controlled temperature. Fermentation is carried out with maceration on the skins for 10-12 days; daily remontages; malolactic fermentation.
Dark, ruby-red color with violet highlights. Intense and fragrant bouquet with a rich array of red and black fruit aromas and flavors. Harmonious and velvety on the palate. Great balance and structure.
Excellent with grilled or roasted meats, game and cheeses.
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.
"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
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.
"Ripe wild raspberry and cassis fruits that are really brambly and expressive. The palate is all raspberry with smooth tannins and gently tangy appeal. Drink now."
- James Suckling (November 2017), 90 pts
GOLD MEDAL - Vinalies International Competition 2017
Codirosso Chianti is made from 90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo, 3% Colorino.
Vinification: fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperatures for 7 to 8 days with an additional 7 to 8 days on the skins. The juice is pumped over daily for 10 days at the beginning of the fermentation. The wine is then racked and goes through malolactic.
Ruby red color with purple reflections. Intense vinous bouquet with hints of violets and dark cherry fruit.The flavor is full of ripe fruit and a hint of spice. It is well balanced and dry. The finish is persistent and satisfying.
Food pairing: grilled, braised or roasted meats
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
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
Seña is an authentic Chilean blend made from the finest Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot varieties. The Carmenere variety adds an evident Chilean personality to the wine.
COMPOSITION: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec 15% Carmenere, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot WINEMAKER’S NOTES “Of a deep violet red colour, the complexity on the nose conceals its many subtleties, unfolding ﬂoral notes alongside red and black fruits, denoting its distinctive freshness. Several layers are unveiled delivering notes of cedar, tobacco, bitter chocolate and truﬄes. An elegant, tense and yet very attractive wine, it generously oﬀers fresh and juicy fruit that reminds of blueberries, raspberries, some spices and Cuban cigar box notes. Above all, Seña 2018 is a truly captivating wine that accomplishes a unique balance between power and elegance. I believe we are beholding one of the greatest vintages ever crafted in the 25 years of Seña’s history.”
An iconic decision is made from the heart. Following the sign of his intuition, in 1995 Eduardo Chadwick pioneered a joint venture with Robert Mondavi to handcraft a world-class Chilean wine. Chadwick searched alongside Mondavi for four long years before finding the ideal terroir in Chile’s Valle de Aconcagua that spoke to their instincts. Seña is the culmination of their vision – an expression of consummate quality and character.
This is a very thoughtful Seña that shows unique aromas of warm earth, mushrooms and conifer, turning to dark berries and black olives. The palate is more glamorous with ultra-fine tannins that envelop your palate. Shows power and vibrancy at the end. Toned muscles. It’s a very intellectual wine that harkens back to the 2015. Blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 18% malbec, 15% carmenere, 7% cabernet franc and 5% merlot. - James Suckling 100 Points
Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz
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.
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.
"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
Schwarz Nitschke Block Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
This Bethany vineyard was planted by Jason Schwarz's parents in 1968 and has been tended to by the hands of his family ever since. The vines are dry-grown and produce small crops of intensely flavored fruit.
A display of the purest blood-plum and black cherry, with cracked black peppercorn and streaky bacon over some seriously fine oak. Some subtle herbaceous qualities, nettle and thyme bring life to an otherwise immense nose. Very juicy on the palate, deeply flavorsome, long and with mouth-coating tannin for a very textured, very focused Barossa classic.
Slow cooked beef ribs, grilled meats, wild game and grilled vegetables.
"All the good stuff: dry-grown and fermented under the aegis of wild yeast; a smattering of whole-bunch seasoning (25%), French oak (20% new), conferring poise, freshness and authority. As far as Barossa shiraz goes, this is benchmark. Plush but nicely taut. A stream of boysenberry fruit and violet scents sashay to a samba of thyme, tapenade and smoked meats, nicely avoiding any sense of reduction, or clunky jam. This is smart. Very. - Ned Goodwin"
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 96 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.
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
My Favorite Neighbor Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petite Sirah, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Syrah .
A homage to Stephan Asseo of L’Aventure Winery became an obsession. Sourced from exceptional vineyard sites around Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo and south to Edna Valley, this wine is cultivated meticulously by the farmers who have become My Favorite Neighbors. With their dedication to the land, we are able to craft a world class wine without any shortcuts or compromises. Welcome to our Neighborhood. 2019’s abundant winter rain and a long, moderate growing season allowed for extended hang times and exceptional fruit quality.
The 2019 My Favorite Neighbor features a complex nose of red cherry, current and raspberry along with wild herbs, violets, and just a hint of toasted marshmallow. On the palate, generous flavors of black cherry, ripe plum, and fig compote is joined by notes of medium roast coffee and creme brulee. The extremely long and mineral finish is characterized by a hefty structure and luxurious, silky tannins.