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Thorn Clarke - Shotfire
|Grape Types:||Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Bottle Size:||750 ml|
Thorn Clarke Shotfire Quartage is made from 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot .
The Shotfire range honors a family pioneer who worked the Barossa goldfields in the late 1800's. He had the hazardous job of being a 'Shotfirer'; one who handled the explosives to be used in finding that rich vein of gold.
Shotfire Quartage is based on the five traditional red varieties found in the Bordeaux region of France (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec). The Thorn-Clarke winemakers use at least four of the varieties to create the blend each year (occasionally, they can get over excited and use all five). The blend is a reminder to not only look to the future but also to keep an eye on the past and tradition.
This traditional blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot & Malbec boast a deep inky red - purple color. Aromas of freshly crushed peppercorns, roasted capsicum & blackcurrant fill the glass. On the palate there is a generosity of fruit. The notes of dark cacoa and smokey bacon intertwined with velvety tannins lead to a complex finish.
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 Quartage is made from 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 23% Petit Verdot, 17% Merlot.
The fruit was harvested at night. Fermentation was carried out in a variety of small capacity fermenters. After pressing the parcels were filled to French oak (12 months) for maturation. The wine was racked after six months and the parcels were blended to form the final wine.
"A long established blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot that has often exceeded expectations, both with the quality of the estate grown fruit, the way the components are handled in the winery and the blending process. Everything about the wine defies the normal yawn that greets Barossa Valley Bordeaux blends with its bright mouthfeel and cedary fruit flavours."
- James Halliday’s Wine Companion (February 2018), 95 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.
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 30th Anniversary Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
Rich, inky purple color. Aromas of black cherry and licorice supported by rich vanillin & mocha notes from the American Oak. The palate highlights the intensity of the varietal characters, showing plum and spice, with cocoa, smokey bacon and coffee bean notes below. Dense fruit tannins fill out the palate and lead to a long, complex finish. This is a wine which will comfortably cellar for years to come.
Great accompaniment to most red meat dishes, with lamb roast being a favorite of the family.
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.
Remontage (pump over) twice daily. Pump over regimes were adjusted toward the end of fermentation to suit the tannin and flavor extraction of the wine. The wine remained in fermenters for 6-8 days before being pressed and filled to American oak (100% new barrels).
A Shiraz specific yeast was selected. Fermentation was carried out at a maximum of 28°C.
Harvested at optimum flavor ripeness.
"This anniversary bottling offers a complexity aromas including brambly blackberries, game, coffee grounds and chocolate. There's some heat from the steep 15.5% alcohol on the palate, but it's kept relatively in check by fine leathery tannins, juicy fruit, herbs and spices. This has a long life ahead of it. Drink 2020–2034."
- Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 93 pts & Cellar Selection
Thorn Clarke Milton Park Chardonnay grapes were crushed, destemmed and then pressed using a membrane press. Pressings were not used. Fermented using French Yeast at 12-15 degrees Celcius. The ferment was kept slow and cool to retain all the natural flavors of the grape. The wine was then racked and filtered. Bottling took place soon afterwards so the wine was a true expression of the grape and the terroir from which it was made.
The color is a rich vibrant green. The nose shows lifted clean, sweet fruit of apricot and peach. The palate is medium to full bodied and exhibits predominantly peach and nectarine flavors, with cloves and cardamom evident from the use of a small amount of French oak. The wine finishes full and long with a nice balance of sweet fruit and creaminess.
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 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.
Franz Prager, co-founder of the Vinea Wachau, had already earned a reputation for his wines when Toni Bodenstein married into the family. Bodenstein’s passion for biodiversity and old terraces, coupled with brilliant winemaking, places Prager in the highest echelon of Austrian producers.
Smaragd is a designation of ripeness for dry wines used exclusively by members of the Vinea Wachau. The wines must have minimum alcohol of 12.5%. The grapes are hand-harvested, typically in October and November, and are sent directly to press where they spontaneously ferment in stainless-steel tanks.
Klaus sits adjacent to Achleiten and is one of the Wachau’s most famous vineyards for Riesling. The vineyard is incredibly steep with a gradient of 77% at its steepest point. The southeast-facing terraced vineyard of dark migmatite-amphibolite and paragneiss produces a tightly wound and powerful wine. The parcel belonging to Toni Bodenstein was planted in 1952.
Austrian Riesling is often defined by elevated levels of dry extract thanks to a lengthy ripening period and freshness due to dramatic temperature swings between day and night. “Klaus is not a charming Riesling,” says Toni Bodenstein with a wink. Klaus is Prager’s most assertive and robust Riesling.
Riesling’s high acidity makes it one of the most versatile wines at the table. Riesling can be used to cut the fattiness of foods such as pork or sausages and can tame some saltiness. Conversely, it can highlight foods such as fish or vegetables in the same way a squeeze of lemon or a vinaigrette might.
The 2020 Ried Klaus Riesling Smaragd is deep, pure and coolish on the nose, very complex, refined and flinty. Silky, refined and elegant on the palate, this is a juicy-piquant as well as crystalline and salty, very complex and persistent Klaus of great class and style with fine tannins, stimulating bitters and firm structure. A great wine. Tasted in June 2021.
At Prager, I could not determine that 2020 would be inferior to the 2019 vintage; on the contrary, the 2020 Smaragd wines fascinated me enormously in their clear, cool, terroir-tinged way. A 38% loss had occurred mainly because of the hail on August 22, although predominantly in the Federspiel or Riesling vineyards. There was no damage in the top vineyards such as Ried Klaus, Achleiten or Zwerithaler. "Interestingly, the vines are in agony for about two weeks after the hail. There was no more growth, no development of ripeness and sugar," reports Toni Bondenstein. The Veltliner then recovered earlier, while even picking a Riesling Federspiel in October was still a struggle. "Why Riesling reacted more intensively to the hail, I don't know myself either," says Bodenstein. Whole clusters were pressed to preserve acidity and to compensate for the lower extract, and compared to 2019, the 2020s were left on their lees longer. In June, however, the 20s in particular showed outstanding early shape.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
Morlet Family Vineyards En Famille Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
For generations our family has been growing the Pinot Noir grape in France. Each harvest, we love to celebrate this time-honored commitment while our children stomp a small vat of Pinot Noir from California’s Sonoma Coast. As for any family celebration or casual gathering, this handcrafted wine is to be appreciated ‘En Famille.’ Intense raspberry, wild strawberry, forest floor and earthy notes (graphite), very rich and complex with a leathery lingering finish. Will age gracefully for over a decade.
Propietary Name En Famille
Name Meaning With the family (with kids’ help) 5 generations with Pinot Noir
Varietal composition Pinot Noir (100%)
Type of wine Vineyard designated
Appellation Fort Ross-Seaview
Vineyard singularity On the 2nd ridge off Pacific Ocean 1,100 feet of elevation Goldridge sedimentary soil
Typical harvest date October Picking Manual, small lugs, refer truck Sorting Cluster by cluster, berry per berry
Fermentation Through native yeast Punch downs Puncheons only Upbringing 14 months French oak from artisan coopers
Cellaring time 10+ years
Serving Slightly below room temperature No decanting
-Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 96 Points
- Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points