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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
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 William Randell Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz
The William Randell range of wines were created in honor of our family ancestor - the esteemed pioneer William Richard Randell (1824 - 1911). The wines are sourced solely from grapes grown on our estate vineyards. Wines in this range are only made in exceptional vintages.
Deep red with inky purple hues. This classic Barossa style shows rich blackberry, licorice, spice plum and smoky oak on the nose. The palate is dense with ripe mulberry and berry compote and generous supporting oak. The tannins are savory and long with spicy refined finish
Following harvest the fruit was crushed into a variety of small fermenters (4 to 6T in capacity). Fermentation was carried out at a warm temperature (25-28 degrees ). The ferments were manually pumped over to provide good control of tannin extraction. Each fermenter was treated as a separate parcel of wine and once dry was filled to American oak (40% new). Following malolactic fermentation the wines were racked and returned to the same oak. Parcels remained in barrel for an average of 18 months prior to blending. Only the best barrels from the multiple parcels were used to make the final blend. Once blended the wine was prepared for bottling.
"This has impressive freshness of blue fruit and cola-like spices with blackberries and forest wood, as well as a blue-floral edge and some plum cake. The palate has a very vivid feel with such intense, fleshy fruit-presence that carries a long, succulent and flavorful finish. Impressively fresh. Drink over the next decade."
- James Suckling (November 2021), 93 pts
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.
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."
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.
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
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
Rudi Pichler Weissenkirchner Achleithen Gruner Veltliner Smaragd is made from 100 percent Gruner Veltliner.
Grüner Veltliner is the signature grape of Austria and produces a dry white wine with savory aromas, spicy flavors, and good acidity. Grüner Veltliner Smaragd from the Wachau is a full-bodied wine and is rich in style with notes of stone fruit, lemon, radish, and arugula.
Grüner Veltliner’s bright acidity and savory character make it an ideal partner to mildly spiced Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese flavors. Fish and shellfish are accented by Grüner Veltliner’s citrus and mineral profile while its acidity cuts the richness of pork or ham. It can also work well with foods that are difficult to pair such as bitter greens and asparagus.
Medium green yellow, silver reflections. Yellow apple fruit underlaid with delicate mineral spice, nuances of mango and papaya, delicate orange zest, a hint of blossom honey. Powerful, extract-sweet texture, pleasant acid structure, mineral body, a hint of lime, salty finish, great length, certain aging potential.
-Falstaff 96 Points
Poggio Nardone Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese Grosso.
The rich nose displays scents of spices combined with aromas of small red ripe fruits, blackberry and blueberry.
Well structured, determined and elegant, with round and silky tannins. Very nice finish.
Alcoholic fermentation was done in tank, maloactic fermentation in oak barrels. Wine was then aged for 3 years in French oak barrels.
A lot of pressed red flowers open the sensory scene and blend with notes of chamomile, helichrysum, wet earth and cut cedar. A slight reduction in the secondary scene that will protect the matrix from oxygenization. Full bodied, soft tannins of good workmanship and a composed finale, decidedly rich in material. Well made. Better from 2022. About Raffaele Vecchione
- WinesCritic.com 93 Points