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 immortilizes the Shotfirer's hazardous job of setting and lighting the charges in the mines.
Deep red with purple tints. Rich and concentrated dark fruits, with cherry oak and mocha notes. The palate shows dense plum and mulberry with dark chocolate and savoury oak tannins. The wine is intense, balanced and shows great length on the palate.
A warm dry spring led to into similarly dry conditions in December and January. The warm weather brought harvest on in the first week of February. A couple of good rain events led to milder conditions and a long even ripening period and excellent flavour development. The wine from 2016 show typical Barossa warmth and generosity and should age well.
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. 14 years 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."
|Vintage:||2016||Grape Varietals:||100% Shiraz||ABV:||14.5%|
|Aging:||14 months in 40% new American hogsheads with the balance going into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels.|
The grapes were de-stemmed into fermenters. Ferments were pumped over twice daily to maximise colour, tannin and flavour extraction. Cooling is used to ensure ferments remain in the 22-25 degree celcius range which allows maximum fruit expression in the wine. Pressing occurs approximately seven days after fermentation commences and the wine is then filled to American oak to mature (14 months in 40% new American hogsheads with the balance going into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels).
Grilled meat, grilled vegetables, strong cheese as well.
It is also delicious with dark chocolate.
|Item Number||Unit||Units/Case||Type||UPC - bottle||SCC - case||SRP/Unit|
|A0EE294140SZL||750ml||12||Glass||8 53065 00015 3||1 08 53065 00015 0||$22.99|
"Good color; an immaculately balanced and elegant medium-bodied shiraz, benefiting from the cool vintage that has blown freshness into so many wines. Blackberry and red cherry both in the ring. - James Halliday"
- Halliday Wine Companion, 95 pts
"Opaque purple-red with a vibrant hue. Fresh blackcurrant fruit, a ripple of raspberry brightness and plenty of vanilla from 40% new American hogsheads, which also add grainy tannins. This helps to corset the wine into a medium-bodied, more athletic shape. - James Halliday"
- Halliday Wine Companion (July 23rd 2019), 93 pts
"Ripe, dark-fruited and sexy, the 2016 Shotfire Shiraz spent 14 months in American oak (40% new). Blackberries, cola and baking spices pick up hints of vanilla, while the full-bodied palate offers soft supple tannins and a long finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 238, August 31st 2018), 91 pts
"The Clarke family farms 670 acres of vines in the Barossa and Eden valleys, which provide most of the fruit for its wines,including this blend from three vineyards. Shotfire isn't particularly complex, but it's satisfying and it hews to a classical profile of Barossa Shiraz: With scents of baking spices against earthy red fruit, this feels markedly cool and brisk. Decant it for flank steak or sautéed calf's liver with onions."
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (2017), 92 pts - BEST BUY - Year's Best Australian Shiraz
"Youthful purple. Smoky blackberry, cherry cola and spicecake aromas show very good vivacity and clarity. Lush and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering juicy black and blue fruit preserve flavors and a hint of candied licorice. Shows impressive energy and supple tannins on the finish, which leaves juicy blueberry and peppery spice notes behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Vinous (Australia Brings the Brawn and the Beauty, October 2017), 91 pts
"Smoke, sandalwood and white pepper notes add aromatic complexity to the core flavors of plump plum, cherry and black currant. Generous and harmonious, with velvety tannins lingering. Drink now through 2027. 12,000 cases made. –MW"
- Wine Spectator (June 15th 2017), 90 pts
"Offers fresh spearmint overtones to the chocolate-laced plum and black cherry flavors. Features fleshy tannins and plenty of gusto on the finish. Drink now through 2026. 18,000 cases made. –MW"
- Wine Spectator (June 15th 2016), 90 pts
"Glass-staining ruby. Musky dark berry, cherry pit and candied licorice on the nose; a subtle floral quality gains strength with air. Plush cherry and dark berry compote flavors show good depth and breadth and gain sweetness and a smoky mocha quality on the back half. Finishes on a gently tannic note, featuring a repeating dark fruit note and very good, sweet persistence. - Josh Raynolds"
- Vinous (Australia Brings the Brawn and the Beauty, October 2017), 90 pts
"Champing at the bit to show off its sweet, jubey fruit but chains of herb-shot tannin keep the class in order. There is no doubting this is a beautiful wine to drink. It sits on the cusp of jamminess, all jellied and blackberried, its hints of raspberry and mint simply ramping the deliciousness higher. Value, what value. - James Halliday
- Australia Wine Companion (Issue 2016), 95 pts
"Savvy shoppers may be able to find this for about $20, making it an excellent deal in a full-bodied, structured red wine. Cassis, vanilla and plum notes mark the nose and palate, finishing with a flourish of dusty-textured tannins.
Drink now - 2025. - J.C."
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2016), 92 pts - EDITORS' CHOICE
"Supple, polished and expressive, with black olive-scented blackberry and cumin flavors, finishing with a creamy texture. Drink now through 2019. 12,000 cases made. –HS"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th 2015), 90 pts
"(raised for 14 months in American oak hogsheads, 40% new): Vivid purple. Assertive aromas of ripe dark berries, cola and licorice pastille, with suggestions of mocha and violet building in the glass. Broad and supple on the palate, offering appealing sweet cassis and floral pastille flavors and a touch of cola. Shows real verve and solid thrust on a long, floral finish framed by gentle, harmonious tannins. - Josh Raynolds"
- Vinous (March 2016), 90 pts
"The 2013 Shotfire Shiraz, always a hugely successful wine with consumers, is 100% Shiraz aged 14 months in a combination of different sized barrels, but primarily American oak. The wine has a deep ruby/purple color and loads of chocolate, pepper, blackberry and cassis. It is loaded, chunky, fleshy, well-made and pure. Drink it over the next 3-4 years."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (March 2016), 89 pts - Excellent Wine Values for Under $25
"Bright purple. Sexy cassis, blackberry and vanilla aromas are complemented by hints of peppery spices, licorice and mocha. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering intense dark berry flavors, a touch of spicecake and very good depth. The licorice and cassis notes repeat on the energetic, youthfully tannic finish."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (July / August 2014), 91 pts
"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."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #208, August 2013), 90 pts
"Fresh and tangy, with lively acidity set against juicy currant and guava flavors, lingering gently. Drink now through 2016. 20,000 cases made. - HS"
Wine Spectator (August 31st 2013), 89 pts
"Smooth, polished and open-textured, with a violet note weaving through the plum and blackberry flavors, lingering easily. Drink now through 2018. 20,000 cases made. - HS"
Wine Spectator (April 30th 2012), 90 pts
"An excellent value, the 2010 Shotfire Shiraz offers bold, punched-up cherry-berry fruit framed by hints of vanilla, dried herbs and cracked pepper. It?s a big wine that?s reasonably creamy in texture, with plenty of mouthcoating flavor on the finish. Drink it over the next few years."
Wine Enthusiast (May 2012), 90 pts
"Also outstanding, is the 2010 Shiraz Shotfire. The good news is that there are 15,000 cases of it and discounters will offer it at less than $20 a bottle. Dark ruby/purple, with notes of roasted coconut, graphite, damp earth, blackberry and cassis, this perfumed wine hits the palate with a thunderous richness from the glycerin and dense fruit. Quite sexy, stunning, with some structured tannin in the finish, this wine should drink well for another 5-7 years."
Wine Advocate (Issue 201, June 2012), 90 pts