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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.
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
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.
Mordoree Lirac Rouge Reine des Bois equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre
Color : deep dark red, with blueish hints.
Aromas : highly fruity ( raspberry, billberry, blackberry ), floral (violet) and intense with a grilled touch ( coffee ).
Palate : melted and concentrated tannins, full bodied, very long fresh finish.
Ageing potential : 8 to 10 years
Grilled meats, sauce meats, game birds, game rabbits and semi-mature cheeses.
"A tank sample of the 2018 Lirac La Reine des Bois suggests yet another top vintage for this reliable cuvée. It's more "red fruits" than the 2017, but it's still fully ripe, with velvety tannins, ample weight and power on the palate and a bright, vibrant finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #256, October 2019), 91-93 pts
4 Gatos Locos Malbec is made from 100% Malbec.
4 gatos locos is a project created by Gabriel Bloise, Facundo Bonamaizon, Mariana and Juan Pelizzatti, winemaker, viticulturist and founders of Chakana (respectively), and it is based on a 20 ha vineyard in Alto Gualtallary, the most prominent growing region in Argentina.
The vineyard is located at 1360 mts a.s.l on a 10% slope on the Sierra del Jaboncillo, a relatively old geological formation near the alluvial fan of the Las Tunas river, in the Tupungato area, in north western Valle de Uco. The long exposure to arid conditions of calcium rich gravel has allowed microbes to develop one of the areas richest in calcium carbonate in Mendoza. The altitude, the slope, the gravel and the calcium carbonate create unique deep, textured wines which have become distinctive of this area. Moderate high temperatures controlled by high altitude in sunny conditions produce perfectly ripe grapes of unusually intense color and great vitality, balanced by the mineral freshness of calcium carbonate. Local aromátic plants naturally occurring in native vegetation areas interspersed in the vineyard give the wine a unique herbal touch that underline the character of the place.
4 Gatos locos is packaged with 4 different labels, reflecting the different personalities of the partners in this project. In an industry dominated by narcissistic efforts of self promotion and luxury, 4 gatos locos (a popular frase in argentina to represent “nobodies”) represents an authentic collective effort to develop outstanding wine that captures the personality and the potential of a place, which we strongly believe it is the best Mendoza has to offer.
Residual sugar: <1,8 g/lPh: 3,8
Acidity: 5,7 g/l
Aged in new french oak 500 liter barrels and 5000 liter foudre for 18 months. Then aged for 12 months in bottle.
Fermented with natural yeast, macerated for 28 days.
"Made with fruit from ten-year-old vines in Gualtallary on soils with a high calcium carbonate content, this new wine is spicy and highly perfumed, with notes of rosemary and oregano, dense, compact tannins and a firm, chiselled finish. 2022-30"
- Tim Atkin (Argentina 2019 Special Report), 93 pts
This limited release wine is created from the fusion of two exceptional parcels of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. This classic blend is matured in the finest oak crafting an intriguing unison that captures the essence of the vineyard and highlights its unique varietal expression.
2012 was a very good season with predominantly mild, dry days. Yields were generally low and this did result in some excellent parcels of fruit being harvested. Vine-balance was carefully monitored, resulting in fruit that demonstrates the vibrancy and fruit-derived characters that the family strives for in its wines. By all accounts it was a textbook vintage.
Deep inky purple in color. Aromas of blackberry, mocha, mint and spices. Lush, ripe palate dominated by black fruits, cherry and chocolate. An expansive palate with black fruits and nicely balanced by oak.
Made with the greatest dedication and care, select parcels were matured in new and seasoned French and American oak for up to 20 months prior to being selected for this blend. Individual barrels from our family estate that best demonstrate the intensity of our fruit, balanced by integrated oak were selected for the final blend, which was then bottled with minimal filtration.
Pairs well with venison, ribeye steak, lamb.
"A 60-40 blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 The Bryson Barrel Select offers minty notes layered over dark fruit. Roasted meat, blueberry and cassis also play roles in this full-bodied but structured wine that appears to be at or near peak maturity. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Interim end of September 2018), 93 pts
Venancio da Costa Lima Palmela Reserva is made from 100% Castelao (also known as Periquita)
Intense garnet color, complex nose with touches of ripe fruit, jam and spices, full-bodied flavor and a very balanced finish.
100% Castelao (also known as "Periquita" and "Joao de Santarem". As the most widely-grown red grape variety in Portugal it is still often referred to in Portuguese as Periquita, although that name is legally owned by José Maria da Fonseca in the Setúbal Peninsula outside of Lisbon. It is highly adaptable to different climatic conditions and its remarkable versatility enables winemakers to make a range of wines – from the easy drinking and quaffable reds and rosados to the powerful and intense reds perfectly suited to lengthy cellaring. Castelão comes into its own and is most expressive in the Sétubal Peninsula, where it makes meaty and intense wines with aromas of red berries and blue flowers that marry well with the deft use of oak.
Made from 45 year old vines.
Classic vinification at controlled temperature (25 °C) with prolonged maceration for phenolic extraction. Wine went through malolactic fermentation.
Wine was slightly fitered before bottling to avoid sedimentation in the bottle and to ensure stability.
Pasta, Cheese, red meat and game.
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 2016 Lirac Domaine du Clos de Sixte is a terrific wine, easily the rival to many Châteauneufs from across the river, starting with its alluring aromas of flowering garrigue and ripe cherries. A blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre, this full-bodied wine is lush and concentrated on the palate, then turns velvety on the long finish. I'd treat it like a Châteauneuf du Pape in terms of cellaring: hold it for a few years, then drink it over the next 15. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 233, October 2017), 93+ pts
Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone is made from 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache Blanc.
Bright ruby color with cherry tinges. Complex black fruit aromas on the nose enhanced by spicy notes. Rounded palate with good length.
The wine is drinking well right now and can be kept for another 10 years.
Spreads out over the south-east side of the Dentelles de Montmirail hills, in Beaumes de Venise in the southern part of the Rhone valley.
On a poor sandy, hungry and arid soil consisting of tender limestone and gritty zones of sandy mollasse.
In the vineyard
The vineyards and their terroir are the essence of our wines. This is where everything starts and where we focus our efforts throughout the year. You can’t make great wine without great grapes.
The viticulture is essentially done by hand. Five people work full-time in the vineyards. They are supplemented by seasonal employees who work during bunch thinning and the harvest in order to bring out the very best in our vines. Working by hand and the attention each vine gets are fundamental. Pruning, de-budding, trellising, leaf removal and picking are thus carried out by hand with the utmost care.
We prepare the soil by using good old-fashioned ploughing. Organic compost is made from grape marc (the discarded stalks and skins).
As a way of protecting the plants, we only use phytosanitary products when necessary and within strict guidelines by staggering the treatments appropriately, to minimise the amount of chemicals used. We prefer to use as much as possible manual and organic techniques . Leaving natural grass cover, removing buds and leaves from the vines, preserving biodiversity around the vineyard: olive, almond and cypress trees, wild rosemary and capers.
We make two red wines at the estate. Terroir wines shaped by the two classic Côtes du Rhône varieties: Grenache and Syrah. We don’t follow any winemaking recipe but are constantly searching for the perfect expression of terroir and each vintage’s particular characteristics. We don’t go for overripe grapes and over-extraction, as we think the wine has to stay refreshing and balanced.
Leaving the wine for 15 days in concrete vats, we try to gently extract the tannins and anthocyanins essential for the wine’s structure and colour. The wine doesn’t come into any contact with wood during ageing. This way the characteristics of our terroir can fully express
Serve with a meal especially red meat, game and cheese.
This appellation, located just south of Gigondas, always produced a Provençal, spicy wine and the 2018 Beaumes De Venise is no exception, showing a ruby/purple hue, notes of herbes de Provence, ground pepper, and garrigue, loads of raspberry and blackberry fruits, medium-bodied richness, and a great finish. It’s an undeniably delicious, balanced, gulpable beauty to enjoy over the coming 3-5 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 90 pts
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.
"From the estate St Kitts and Milton Park Vineyards, night-harvested, each block separately vinified in 4t open fermenters, matured for 18 months in American oak (40% new). A powerful, full-bodied shiraz with blackberry fruit, tannins and oak all driving the long palate. The absorption of the oak into the fabric of the wine is particularly impressive."
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 95 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.
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
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."
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 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 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.
"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
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
The Siegel Special Reserve Viognier has a pale yellow color with green tones. The nose is quite intense with superb notes of white peach, grapefruit and floral expression. On the palate, the wine is balanced, persistent and it has an excellent acidity.
The Siegel Special Reserve Viognier is a blend of Viognier aged in French Oak barrels for 3 months and Viognier aged on the lees in stainless steel tanks. The wine didn't go through a Malolactic fermentation in order to keep it lively and fresh.
It was bottled right after a slight filtration.
The Siegel Special Reserve Viognier goes well with thai food or fish cooked in sauce.