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Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Ridge Shiraz 2011

Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
  • W&S92
  • WS90
  • JH95
  • WS90
  • JH92
  • RP90
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP92
  • WS93
  • RP94
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Red/purple in color. A lifted nose of clean blackberry fruit accompanied by cedar wood characters, the oak elements are complex and layered with mocha and spices. The palate shows sweet fruit characters dominated by blackberry and plum, complimented by sweet Indian spices. The sweet fruit characters are balanced by interesting savory elements adding to the complexity. The mid-weight palate is complimented by fine-grained tannins and great length of savory fruit and oak.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The outstanding 2011 Shotfire Shiraz (aged 14-16 months in American and French hogsheads) delivers considerable value and flavor authority. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by notes of blackberries, black currants, licorice, graphite and subtle barbecue smoke. Rich, fleshy and dense, it is best consumed over the next 3-4 years
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Thorn-Clarke

Thorn-Clarke

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Thorn-Clarke, Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
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The Thorn-Clarke family already has a long history in the Barossa - six generations of involvement in the region's world famous wine industry. The name Thorn-Clarke derives literally from the relationship between two long time Barossa families. The winery owners are David and Cheryl Clarke (nee Thorn) and their son Sam is manager of the winery. Cheryl's brother, David Thorn manages the Mount Crawford and Kabininge vineyards for Thorn-Clarke Wines. Her father Ron Thorn has one of the oldest Shiraz vineyards in Australia and possibly the world on the Thorn family property 'Clifton' outside of Angaston. Earliest records show this old vineyard was in existence in 1854.

Husband and wife, David and Cheryl Clarke both have deep family roots in the Barossa. Cheryl Clarke's family, the Thorn's, have been grape growers in the Barossa since the 1870's.

David Clarke's family were pioneers in the Barossa as well but most famously in the mining of gold from the Barossa Goldfields. One of his ancestors was James Goddard who was the responsible for opening the Lady Alice gold mine in the Barossa goldfields and which was the largest gold mine in South Australia at the time. It has been David's love of the wine industry that saw the planting of the Kabininge vineyard outside of Tanunda in 1987. The planting of the Kabininge vineyard represented the start of a deeper involvement by the family in the Barossa wine industry.

Barossa Valley

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Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.

The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.

Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as 1860. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, purple juice.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

AIC901015_2011 Item# 128819