When the Clarke forbears 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 immortilises the Shotfirer’s hazardous job of setting and lighting the charges.
Bright crimson in colour 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. Mid-weight and juicy this classic GSM (Granache, Shiraz, Mouvedre) finishes with long, velvety tannins.
Each variety was destemmed and fermented separately to allow full expression of varietal character. All three varieties were fermented in small 6 tonne open fermenters. To ensure optimum extraction of tannins, colour and flavour 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. This is where the wines matured for a period of 18 months. Bench blends were created to ensure a harmonious final wine.
a rich history
The 1870s were a very special decade for our family tree and its roots in the Barossa. One side settled on the fruit farm that would nurture some of the region’s oldest vineyards along with six generations of viticulturists. The other side, meanwhile, discovered a different treasure buried in the bounteous Barossa soil: the region’s first gold mine.
Now, call it luck. Call it mere coincidence, if you wish but 100 years later, the two sides came together in a union that created our family, our winery and, some might say, our destiny: to produce wines worthy of gold.
a leap of faith
In 1987, David and Cheryl Clarke bought their first property, Kabininge, near Tanunda. The family started to plant vines and it could all have ended right there. As the baby vines grew, David and Cheryl’s kids, Sam and Nicole, were conscripted to help water, prune and pick, all by hand. These were the hard yards.
This is when Cheryl took charge and called in her family, the Thorns. Her father, Ron, and her brothers soon had the vineyard in premium condition, and it started to bear fruit – very good fruit, in fact – a tribute to David’s site selection and the Thorns’ vineyard management.
For over 10 years, the vineyards developed a fine reputation and the fruit was sold to neighbouring winemakers, who turned it into award-winning wines. This was pleasing, but hardly fulfilling.
The leap of faith was taken with the 1998 vintage – small batches of Shiraz were made through to wine – and so began the Thorn-Clarke story.
Bronze – New Zealand International Wine Show 2020
91 Points – Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits Magazine
The gamey scent of Mataro stands behind this wine’s spicy red cherry flavors. The fruit is sweet, but that ripeness is edged with high-toned acidity that extends those cherry flavors in a salty, spicy finish. Pour it with spicy braised pork shoulder.