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Wine from Thorn Clarke

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Wine from Thorn Clarke

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.

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James Goddard Shiraz 2018

James Goddard was an ancestor of the Clarke family. Born in West Sussex, England in 1823, James spent his 74 years as a sailor, a whaler, a bullock driver, farmer, prospector, miner and hotel keeper. From an illiterate runaway living rough on the streets of London, he became a rich, successful and admired pillar of South Australian society.

James arrived in Adelaide in 1839 as a 16-year-old sailor. Twelve years later, his life changed forever with the news of gold findings. For the next 20 years, James roamed the country learning the geology that improved his chances of prospecting.

James Goddard Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz. 

In 1870, he tried his luck near his farm in the Barossa Valley and discovered the region’s first gold deposits, creating the prosperous Lady Alice Mine. The Lady Alice Mine, though it is no longer operational, was & still is the most successful gold mine in South Australia. From these roots, the Thorn-Clarke family has been connected to the region for the last 150 years.

James Goddard Shiraz is a blend Shiraz sourced from the Milton Park vineyard in the north of Eden Valley, and the St Kitts vineyard in the far northern area of the Barossa. Fruit is harvested in the cool of the night to maintain maximum flavour and freshness and it is fermented for 8 days. The ferment is pumped over twice daily to extract the colour and flavour from the fruit. Once finished fermentation the wine was then matured in a blend of French and American oak for a period of 10 to 12 months depending on the vintage.

Deep vibrant red with purple hues to the rim. The nose shows lifted plums, vibrant purple berries and a delicate spice note. The palate has concentrated satsuma plum, blackberry with lovely charry oak in the background. Long, juicy and even with plush fruit on the finish.


Review:

 “Blended from two estate vineyards, St. Kitts and Milton Park, this shiraz offers its richness without any aggression or overt perfume. It’s just lush and delicious, a friendly embrace of firm tannins and purple-red fruit. The texture and flavor combine in a saturated meatiness, for Korean barbecue.”

- Wine & Spirits Magazine, 92 points


 92 Points
Ron Thorn Shiraz 2014

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.

 


Review:


"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

 

2012 Vintage:

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 

 Wine Enthusiast: 93
Thorn Clarke Milton Park Chardonnay - 2019

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 Chardonnay 2018

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 Chardonnay 2020

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 Shotfire GSM 2018

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 Single Vineyard Grenache 2018

Ruby in colour with purple hues.  Brimming with bright fruit notes of wild strawberries & cherry and backed up by subtle spice of white pepper.  On the palate, the fruit continues with further notes of raspberries and plum with a hint of French oak.  A juicy medium bodied red that has a delicate and complex finish.

This wine has had partial whole bunch fermentation in 4 tonne open fermenters for a duration of 10 days on skins. The wine was then pressed off to 15% New French oak barrels and matured for 18 months prior to being racked for bottling. This wine has had no filtration.

The 2018 growing season had all the hallmarks of a classic vintage.  Consistent warm temperatures produced perfect conditions for our red varieties to ripen.  This along with good winter rains and a dry harvest period resulted in wines with great depth of varietal flavours, excellent tannin structure and colour along with a long balanced finish.  Reds from 2018 will age well due to their intense concentration and power.

Review:

"60yo vines, partial whole bunch fermentation,10 days on skins, pressed to French oak (15% new)for 18 months maturation. The medley of forest floor fruits (wild strawberry, raspberry) with very good length and balance."
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 95 pts

 95 Points
Thorn Clarke Single Vineyard Malbec 2018

Thorn Clarke Single Vineyard Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.

The Single Vineyard Selection range focuses on single site, small batch wines, highlighting the true characteristics of each individual variety. Each block is hand selected by our winemaker and viticulturist each year, choosing the wines that best reflect the strengths of each individual vintage.

The wine is sourced from the most Northern area of the Barossa and featuring a vibrant purple hue. The nose is lifted with perfumed blueberry and satsuma plum evident. The palate is full bodied and rich with layers of blue fruits, Christmas spices and subtle complex French oak.

Pairs with braised Lamb Shank or Blue Vein Cheese.

Thorn Clarke Single Vineyard Mataro 2018

Thorn Clarke Single Vineyard Mataro is made from 100 percent Mataro.

The Single Vineyard Selection range focuses on single site, small batch wines, highlighting the true characteristics of each individual variety. Each block is hand selected by our winemaker and viticulturist each year, choosing the wines that best reflect the strengths of each individual vintage.

Striking with its inky red color and purple hues, a hallmark of a classic vintage. On the nose, briary black fruits are in abundance. Notes of Chinese five spice and currants also shine through. On the palate, blackberries and winter spice are evident. The generous and silky tannins in this wine support a long and complex finish.

The grapes were destemmed and fermented in 4 tonne open fermenters for a period of 10 days. The wine was pressed off into 10 year old oak where it was matured for a duration of 18 months before being racked in preparation for bottling. This wine has no filtration.

Review:

"Peter Kelly makes this wine from a parcel in northern Barossa along Ebenezer Road, where the vines grown in sandy loam soils. This is a vibrant red with concentrated fresh boysenberry fruit and equally fresh tannins, mataro in all its primitive glory. The tannins bring dark notes of salty black beans and cumin spice, while the fruit cuts through with a prickle of acidity. It’s a spicy, untamed red with a long horizon line of flavor."

- Wine & Spirits (February 2021), 93 pts - Year's Best South Australia Mediterranean Varieties

 93 Points
Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

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.

   Review:

"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

 91 Points
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