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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.
Grand Veneur Cotes Du Rhone Les Champauvins is made of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre
Intense, brilliant garnet-red colour. It reveals lovely fruit, loads of body and a heady bouquet of ground peppers, raspberries cherry liqueur, currants, and spice box. Full-bodied and dense, it tastes more like a "baby Châteauneuf" than a Côtes du Rhône.
A complete wine, rich and elegant, thanks to the harmony of all the elements which make it up.
Drink between 1 and 6 years.
Soil type DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR “Les Champauvins” stretches on 34 ha classified in Côtes du Rhône. The plots are located in the northern border of Châteauneuf du Pape, exactly from 3 meters outside the appellation. A small lane of rocks going through the rocky plateaux has been decided to be the AOC limit in 1936. Here, soils are made of red clay and rocks (pebbled stones of quartz). The quantity of rocks can be amazing as they can completely cover the soil (see picture). In summer and during the day, the rocks temperature will increase to 55°C. This accumulated heat will be get back to the vines during nights . Day after day, this unique phenomenon allow the grapes to reach a perfect maturity and produce a unique wine. Winemaking & Ageing Traditional, in stainless steel vats. Harvest crushed and destemmed. Fermentation in temperature controlled vats at 28°C. Eighteen-day vating period with “pigeage”. Grenache is aged in concrete vats, Syrah and mourvèdre in 4 years old barrelsntense, brilliant garnet-red colour. It reveals lovely fruit, loads of body and a heady bouquet of ground peppers, raspberries cherry liqueur, currants, and spice box. Full-bodied and dense, it tastes more like a “baby Châteauneuf” than a Côtes du Rhône. A complete wine, rich and elegant, thanks to the harmony of all the elements which make it up.
"Alluringly spicy dark-berry aromas with a stony and almost chalky edge. The palate has very fine and compact tannin that carries such long and focused, ripe red plums and berries. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling ("Côtes-du-Rhône that taste like Châteauneuf-du-Pape", October 11th 2019), 93 pts
"Deeper colored, the 2017 Côtes Du Rhône Les Champauvins competes with many Châteauneuf Du Papes, offering beautiful black cherries, blackberries, crushed flowers, and ground pepper aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, silky, elegant, and fabulous texture, it's another winner to seek out and enjoy over the coming 4-5 years."
#92 in the TOP100 Red Wines of 2019- Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019), 91 pts
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.
Dominated by grapes from Gualtallary and Los Chacayes, with 15% from Paraje Altamira, this is like a version of the Uco Valley’s greatest hits. Effortlessly combined by Gabriel Bloise, it’s a classic expression of a very smart vintage, with just 10% new wood and layers of fresh, bright, chalky blackberry and blueberry fruit. 2021-25
- Tim Atkin (March 2020),93 pts
Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre planted on clay and stones based soil.
40 Hectoliters / Hectare
Deep red garnet color. Aromas of fresh red berries. On the palate, the richness of the fruit and tannins harmonizes with the roundness of the wine.
The finish is long, with spicy touches and minerals notes. Complete and authentic.
Grapes planted on clay and stones based soil.
"Notes of wet sandstone, crushed earth and olive lend elegant restraint to crisp black cherry and blackberry here. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, this concentrated wine is marked by savory tones of dried mint and sage. Fine but firm tannins and a mineral freshness accent the finish. It's ready now but should improve through 2030. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (March 2019), 91 pts
"Earth, black olive and plummy fruit combine on the nose of the 2016 Rasteau Les Valats. It's a bit rugged, but in a good way, with savory tannins framing the dark flavors and lingering on the finish. Dark and dusty, it calls out for grilled meat. - Joe Czerwinski"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 90 pts
"The 2016 Rasteau Les Valats is another outstanding wine from this team, offering classic Rasteau earthy black fruits, gravelly minerality, and a touch of spice to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, powerful style on the palate. Based on 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it’s a powerful yet balanced 2016 that will keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 90 pts
Cazaux Gigondas Tour Sarrasine is made from 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. 45 year old vines on average.
Intense, persistent red and dark fruit aromas. Raspberry, pepper and spice flavors. Silky tannins.
Enjoy with game meat or strong cheeses.
"The Gigondas La Tour Sarrasine always seems to be a winner and the 2017 is no exception. With a big, meaty, peppery nose that has ample cedary spice and sweet red and black fruits, it’s medium to full-bodied, has a wonderful sweetness of fruit, ripe tannins, and terrific balance. It's rock solid and will shine of upwards of a decade. The blend is 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, and 15% Syrah, aged two years in concrete and stainless steel."
- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2019, Southern Rhône Part 2: 2017 & 2018 from Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Cairanne, and Rasteau), 92 pts
Alain Jaume Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is made from 65% Grenache Noir, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Old vines Cinsault
Deep, intense hue. Aromas of fresh black fruit a little meaty, with dried herbs smells. On the palate, the richness of the tannins harmonizes with the smoothness of the wine. The finish is long, with spices aromas, licorice. A typical wine from this specific terroir called "Les Garrigues".
Soil type Vacqueyras is located right next to Gigondas AOC. It mostly streches on Sarrians territory, where is the famous plateaux named “Les Garrigues”. This area is made of clay and rocks. The beautiful landscape of the “garrigue” is typical of the mediterranean area. The wines itself smell the spices, the dried herbs…you will taste the “Garrigue” in your glass, welcome to Provence … Winemaking & ageing Traditional winemakeing methods, temperature controlled fermentation. Long soaking on the skins.
"Deep brilliant ruby. Heady, mineral-laced red berry liqueur, spicecake and floral aromas are complemented by suggestions of dusty minerals and succulent herbs. Vibrant, sharply focused raspberry and bitter cherry flavors become deeper and sweeter with air and pick up musky licorice and candied lavender nuances. Shows impressive energy and solid thrust on the impressively long, red-fruit-dominated finish, which is given shape by supple, slow-building tannins. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2020), 92-93 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.
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 Cabernet Petit Verdot Cuvee is made from 69% Shiraz, 21%, Cabernet Sauvignon, 10%, Petit Verdot
The color is a deep inky purple. The nose is a complex mixture of lifted berry fruit, pencil shavings/chocolate oak and ripe plums, with a floral lift from the Petit Verdot component. The palate is medium to full bodied. Due to the complexity of the blend, the palate starts with sweet plums and spice and then turns to blackcurrants and liquorice with dark chocolate interwoven throughout the mouth. Soft and sweet tannins then follow on with some great sweet fruit.
The fruit was harvested at night when the fruit was deemed to be ripe by our winemakers. Warm fermentation was carried out in a mix of potter and open fermenter. Extended time on skins adds to the texture of the wine. The wine was matured in French oak for ten months prior to blending and bottling.
Pairs well with sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto ravioli.
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
Zanon Zinfandel is made from 84% Old Vine Zinfandel, and 16% petite Sirah.
Zanon Zinfandel is a classic Dry Creek Valley Zin. The wine exudes typical blackberry and raspberry aromas along with a dash of black pepper and warm baking spice. A long elegant finish is framed by a kiss of vanilla oak. The blend is 84% Zinfandel and 16% Petite Sirah which adds color and structure. Enjoy this cork finished Zinfandel now or cellar for 2-4 years.
The Zinfandel vineyards are located on the hillsides in the scenic and bucolic setting of the historic Dry Creek Valley. This region has long been considered the Mecca for great Zinfandel. The vines are head-pruned and hand-picked from old vine vineyards.
Pairs with pasta with red sauces, BBQ, Grilled foods, Cheeses, Chocolate.