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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.
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.
Segries Tavel Rose is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 5% Syrah. The age of the vines is 30 years. Traditional vinification at low temperature, "vin de saignée" with a maceration during one night in cement vat.
This is large for a Rose...structured and focused, with the color of dark ruby. The nose is loaded up with fresh fruit. Strawberry, blackcurrant, and raspberry beam from the glass. On the palate, the mouth-feel is ripe and succulent. It has strength, but maintains its fresh and crisp expression. The finish is filled with Asian spice and slight hints of smoke. Drink this juice now or over the next year or two.
"Deep orange-pink. Powerful aromas of ripe red berries, cherry, blood orange and nectarine, plus a hint of lavender emerging in the background. Palate-staining raspberry, bitter cherry and tangerine flavors develop a sweetening touch of honey. Chewy and expansive on the persistent finish, which repeats the pit fruit and floral notes. - Josh Raynolds" -
Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2020), 91 pts
"Medium garnet. Effusive aromas of strawberry and red plum. Full in the mouth with rich ripe red fruit flavors, good balance and a sense of refreshment. Finishes with an almost unctuous syrup of red berries. 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 10% Clairette and 10% Syrah from 60 year old vines made saignée method. - Don WINKLER"
- i-winereview.com (2019 Vintage Rosés from Around the World, June 2020), 91 pts
Colline Saint Jean Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
This wine has a deep purple color, with an intense nose of ripe black fruits, plum, brandied cherries, and chocolate. In the mouth, the wine has rich flavors of black fruits. It is meaty, well-structured, and the tannins are round and elegant.
The juice is aged in concrete tanks for 18 months. The lack of oak helps to frame in the bright and defined dark berry flavors of the old vine grapes. I can not recall another red wine that displays this depth yet displays on the palate with such refreshing acidity.
Vieilles Vignes means old vines.For this specific wine, the age of the vines are comprised between 85 and 110 years old.
Traditional method. Manually picked. Harvest carefully sorted and 100% destemed. Maceration with skins during 20 days in cement vats. Large work of pump over to push the cap.
Red meat, game, white meat, poultry, dishes in sauce, cheese, chocolate dessert.
Xavier Vignon Arcane Etoile Beaumes de Venise Rouge is made from 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre.
All the wines from the Arcane range are limited edition. They are the reflection of something extraordinary that happened in the vineyard. The Arcane Etoile is a multi vintage blend from 2015-2016-2017 that reveals the complexity and remarkable freshness of these high altitude Beaumes de Venise terroirs. Maceration with viognier skins.
The Beaumes de Venise terroir neighbours Gigondas and Vacqueyras. These Triassic soils (sand, limestone, clay) at the foothills of the Dentelles Sarrasines and the Grand Montmirail were specifically chosen for their high altitude (up to 600 metres above sea level) in order to impart freshness and elegance to the wine. The objective here was freshness and counterbalancing the impact of global warming.
It has something profound in its texture and balance. Notes of black raspberries, currants, dried flowers, lavender, and pepper are followed by a beautiful, full-bodied, elegant wine.
Pairs with porcini mushrooms in red wine - Foie gras - Piglet and prune stew - Honey glazed duck breast - Grilled swordfish - Dauphinois potatoes - Creamy garlic lentil and kale bake - Brie with walnuts
"Coming from the higher elevation sites, the NV Beaumes de Venise Arcane Etoile is another elegant, finesse-oriented wine from Xavier that has both richness and freshness. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre as well as a small amount of Viognier from 2015, 2016, and 2017, it has something profound in its texture and balance. Notes of black raspberries, currants, dried flowers, lavender, and pepper are followed by a beautiful, full-bodied, elegant wine that might just be one of the greatest red wines to come from Beaumes de Venise.” - Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019), 95 pts
Xavier Vignon Cotes du Rhone Rouge Vieilles Vignes is made from 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah
Grenaches are almost hundred years old, Mourvèdres more than 60 years old and Syrahs are 45 years old in average.
There's a spicy, green peppercorn edge to the Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes. It's medium to full-bodied, with svelte, supple tannins and plenty of plummy fruit that exhibits more savory notes and spice on the long finish.
Pairs with grilled lamb ribs - braised beef - spicy pork chops.
"The older vine cuvee of the estate is the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes and it is primarily Grenache blended with 15% each of Mourvèdre and Syrah. In this case, the Mourvèdre vines are 60 years in age and the Grenache vines are 45 years in age. Aged 12 months in 80% concrete tanks and 20% in barrel, its vibrant purple color gives way to a concentrated, medium to full-bodied 2016 that’s much more reserved and tight compared to the other Côtes du Rhône releases, yet offers beautiful purity in its blueberry and blackberry fruit, as well as subtle notes of violets, charcoal, and pepper. With integrated acidity and fine, polished tannin, this is a serious Côtes du Rhône that’s going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age and keep for a decade." - Jeb Dunnuck (February 15th 2018), 92+ pts
Le Jade Viognier is made from 100 percent Viognier
A refreshing treat laced up with snappy food-friendly acidity.
Picpoul Le Jade makes a classic match with oysters on the half shell and goes very well with exotic food in general. Picpoul means lip-smacking good.
Palacio del Burgo Rioja Reserva is made from 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha & 5% Carignan.
Red ruby color; black pepper and vanilla flavors and some mature black fruit taste too. Well-balanced, well-structured and elegant in mouth displaying some splendid taste of fruit and bouquet too.
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 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
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 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 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 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.
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 "yaguarete" (jaguar) on the label was known by the ancient Andean people as the "lord of the starred night"; the wildest known animal.
Chakana 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.
Estate Torrontes is from Chakana's Gualtallary vineyard (5,300 ft elevation).
The wine shows the typical aromas of Torrontes (white flowers, lychee, peach) balanced by a refreshing acidity. Mineral texture due do the rocky soil of the vineyard. Elegant, dry and clean finish.
Fermentation with indigenous yeasts in French oak barrels. Aged 4 months. Pairs with crab cakes and seafood pasta.