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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."
The Thorn Clarke Shotfire 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.
Thorn-Clarke Wines was launched in 2002 as a result of the 37 year marriage between David and Cheryl Clarke (nee Thorn). The Thorn family have grown vines in the Barossa since the 1870’s and still proudly own and manage some of the oldest vineyards in the region.
The wine is another reward for geologist David Clarke and his family. The family has planted four diverse Barossa vineyards over the last 20 years, enabling them to blend wines grown from different terroirs which adds complexity and richness to the wine.
“When we started out 20 years ago I knew from my geological research that the varied Barossa geology and soil types offered us a broad palate to work with. Then when we started making trial blends in the 1990s it became clear that the vineyards complemented each other brilliantly and provided us with a new level of flavor complexity. We have blended to take advantage of these sub regional and micro climatic characteristics.”
“Our philosophy is to over-deliver in terms of the quality we offer at each price level. Wine lovers remember wines which are stunning value and we work hard to ensure that whether people buy the Sandpiper range at $15 or the Shotfire range at $23 they are drinking wines that are excellent value for money.” -David Clarke
The Thorn Clarke Shotfire Vineyards
Outstanding parcels of 100% Barossa Valley fruit are selected from the Kabininge vineyard for these wines which then receive special oak maturation treatment in our Barossa cellars. The result is a rich and voluptuous Barossa Shiraz and an exciting Cuvée.
Vinification techniques: crushing and de-stemming into open fermenters. Pumping over twice daily to maximise color, tannin and flavor extraction. Cooling is used to ensure ferments remain in the 22-25°C range which will allow the wine to display maximum fruit expression. Pressing then occurs approximately 7 days after crushing and the resulting wine is put into French and American oak.
“The key to good Malbec is being able to successfully ripen the fruit. Our St Kitts vineyard at the Northern end of the Barossa provides a fantastic environment to do that.”
“The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc fruit come from the old vine Kabininge Block near Krondorf on the Barossa Valley flore and they provide wonderful upfront berry fruits; the Malbec from the drier northern St Kitts vineyard balances the cool climate Angaston vineyard Petit Verdot which provides great depth of flavor and intensity, while the Merlot, also from St Kitts, gives the palate a wonderful suppleness. The grainy tannins add to the rich mouth feel of the wine.” -Sam Clarke
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 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.
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.
"Full-bodied and rich, this is a traditional style of Barossa Shiraz, aged in American oak hogsheads. Faint menthol or dill notes and plenty of vanilla frame plum and mulberry fruit, while hints of green peppercorn and maple syrup add interest to the long finish. Drink now–2030. - Joe Czewinski" - Wine Enthusiast (April 2017), 93 pts
Voted Best Shiraz in the World at London's International Wine & Spirit Competition
Voted Best Shiraz in the World at London's International Wine & Spirit Competition
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.
MCV Red Wine is made from Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre & Zinfandel .
This is a fantastic everyday wine. It pairs with a wide variety of foods and is great all by itself.
Aromas of blackberry, vanilla, white pepper, granite, rainier cherry and mocha. Flavors of cherry cola, dark chocolate, graphite, black coffee and pink peppercorn.
Grapes were processed on the same day they arrived at the winery. Sorting table juice was discarded. Post de-stemmer juice was used for the Rosé. Lots were fermented in 2 ton macrobins. A variety of yeasts were used, including some wild fermentations. Lots were cold soaked between 3 -7 days. Fermentation took an average of 12 days. Some lots received extended maceration. Some lots were pressed directly into barrel and some into tank to settle. High press was separated out. The wine was aged in oak barrels for 15 months.
Pair with Grilled New York with sautéed mushrooms. Stuffed portabella mushrooms. Pasta Carbonara. Pork chops coated with coffee and rosemary. Herb crusted lamb chops.
"Very dark in the glass, this bottling by Matt Villard pops on the nose with blackberry sorbet, wet slate, seared oak and a hint of mint. Earth and fruit converge on the palate, offering berries, sagebrush and a touch of smoke. It's a hearty yet balanced glass of wine. MATT KETTMANN"
- Wine Enthusiast (November 2019), 91 pts
Short Street Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz
Situated at the very heart of South Africa’s Swartland wine region, Short Street is the shortest street in the Riebeek Valley. A melting pot of creative energy, gourmet fare, farm fresh produce and the vibrant, uncomplicated lifestyle of the people, Short Street captures the essence of the Swartland, where passion, creativity and simplicity are distilled into a captivating experience.
Made in a rich, full-bodied, this Shiraz is a rich and lively, full-bodied wine with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a palate of ripe red berries and interesting spice. Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavors of chocolate and spice.
Grape must is cold soaked for a day and then inoculated with selected yeast. Fermentation is temperature between 24-26 degrees Celsius. Regular pump-overs enhance color and flavor extraction. The wine is aged for 4 - 9 months in French oak for good integration of flavor and a smooth finish.
Serve at room temperature as a glass on it’s own or pairs beautifully with bold, full-flavored foods like roasted duck, lamb and game meat.
Thorn Clarke Shotfire GSM is made from 51% Grenache, 39% Shiraz, 10% Mourvedre.
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.
A classic blend of the traditional stalwarts from the Barossa, this blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre is sourced from older low yielding vines.
Bright crimson in color with purple highlights at the edge of the glass. The nose is lifted and draws you in with ripe plum, mulberry and white pepper. The palate is plush and vibrant with cherries, forest fruits and enticing spice. As silky and smooth as it is complex and savory - the wine is beautifully balanced and juicy with great structure and generous mouthfeel. This classic GSM finishes with long, velvety tannins.
Each variety was destemmed and fermented separately - in small 6 tonne open fermenters - to allow full expression of varietal character. To ensure optimum extraction of tannins, color and flavor the Grenache was pumped over twice daily for a duration of 10 days and both the Shiraz and Mourvedre spent 7 days on skins with pump overs twice daily. Fermentation temperatures were maintained between 22-25 degrees to retain fruit purity. All batches were pressed off and once both primary alcoholic fermentation and secondary malolactic fermentation were complete the wines were then racked to new (10%) and 10 year old French hogsheads where the wines matured for a period of 18 months. Bench blends were created to ensure a harmonious final wine.
Pairs best with slow Cooked Lamb or Roasted Vegetable Medley.
Thorn Clarke Shotfire Quartage is made from 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot .
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.
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
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
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 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
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna is made from 65% Merlot 19% Cabernet Sauvignon 11% Cabernet Franc 5% Petit Verdot.
This Merlot-led blend is sourced primarily from the Valadorna and Capraia blocks, which produce the estate’s most complex and mineral-based expressions of this variety. The blocks are located within the cooler part of the estate, naturally irrigated by the stream that undulates through it, and feature sandy brown soils and lower yields than typical. These blocks are often the last Merlot blocks to ripen on the estate.
The 2015 vintage was almost perfect for growing wine. The winter was wet, storing vital groundwater for the warmer months ahead. Bud break at the end of March was followed by ideal weather for flowering which produced a perfect crop size. The summer was dry and warm with plenty of sunshine, but not in excess. Necessary rainfall arrived in the first weeks of August without any other rain events until October, creating ideal conditions for harvest. This will be a vintage to remember for its opulence and elegance. In warm years like 2015, Merlot shows its soft, savory and slightly racy character.
The wine exhibits hig-toned aromas of ripe black cherries, vanilla bean and cedar. With bright acidity, the wine expands quickly on the palate. Plush tannins carry through the center with a fine, tingling finish. The palate shows flavors of tart cherry pie, dried red berries and black licorice, with a long finish of white pepper, dusty roses and stony minerality.
The 2015 Valadorna (65% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot) is a dark and thickly endowed red wine that boasts a rich and lasting grip on the palate. The bouquet offers depth and complexity with dark fruit, leather, cured tobacco and spice. There are also softer notes of chocolate and ground espresso beans. The wine's seamless integration of flavors leads to increased momentum and intensity as the wine continues to open in the glass.- Wine Advocate 95 Points