Thorn Clarke

The name Thorn-Clarke represents the union between two families with deep roots in the Barossa Valley and six generations of grape growing. Cheryl Clarke's (nee Thorn) family were one of the earliest settlers in the region and have been growing grapes since the 1870s. The Thorn family property 'Clifton' is home to one of the oldest Shiraz vineyards in Australia, and perhaps the world, with earliest records for plantings dating back to 1854. It is still owned and operated by Cheryl's brother.

David Clarke's family was also a pioneer in the Barossa Valley but more famously for mining gold. An ancestor, James Goddard, was responsible for opening the Lady Alice gold mine in the Barossa goldfields, the largest gold mine in South Australia at the time. A geologist by training and wine lover at heart, David set about testing soils to identify prime plots of land to acquire and plant vines. David and Cheryl's first vineyard in 1987 was Kabininge, outside Tanunda (the name means "watering hole" in aborigine). They later acquired more land in Barossa and in The Eden Valley. This took a lot of Australian pluck at that time. During the late 1980s the South Australian government was sponsoring growers to remove vines, not plant them, to manage oversupply.

Following success as grape growers supplying other Barossa wineries with fruit, David and Cheryl founded the Thorn-Clarke winery in 2002 with daughter, Nicole, and son, Sam. The Thorn-Clarke family has a strong belief in the age-old saying "you can't make good wine from bad grapes." Theirs is a long term approach to serve as a custodian for the Barossa's reputation and their families' commitment to making great wines. The vineyard team focuses first on nurturing quality grapes from prime land without cutting corners. Once grapes are harvested and into the winery it's about balance: using specific strains of yeast and appropriate types of oak to create complexity without overpowering the fruit.

The approach has worked, and the family has struck gold with its wines, collecting a succession of trophies and medals at international wine shows. The Eden Valley vineyard has become synonymous with high quality white wines and the Barossa with high quality reds.

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Thorne Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz 2016
90  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 90"Youthful purple. Black and blue fruits, vanilla and licorice on the perfumed nose. Sweet and broad in the mouth; a peppery note adds spicy lift and cut to sweet cassis and blackberry flavors. Supple tannins come in late, adding shape to a long, dark-fruit-dominated finish."
Item Number: 30071
Case: $167.40

Thorn-Clarke 'Shotfire' Shiraz 2015
92  Wine & Spirits 
Wine & Spirits 92 "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

Thorne Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz 2015
91  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 91 "Fresh earth, toasted cumin and black tea flavors are dark and dense, with black licorice and thick tannins forming a backdrop to the blackberry and plum compote notes. Persistent on the finish."  Vinous Media 90 "Dark purple. Ripe cherry and dark berry aromas are complicated

Thorn-Clarke 'Shotfire' Shiraz 2014
90  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 90"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.

Thorn Clarke 'Terra Barossa' Shiraz 2015 1.0L
91  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 91" Fresh earth, toasted cumin and black tea flavors are dark and dense, with black licorice and thick tannins forming a backdrop to the blackberry and plum compote notes. Persistent on the finish. "

Thorn-Clarke 'Shotfire' Shiraz 2012
91  International Wine Cellar 
International Wine Cellar 91 "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

Thorn Clarke 'Terra Barossa' Shiraz 2012 1.0L
88  International Wine Cellar 
International Wine Cellar 88 Bright purple. Smoky cherry and blackcurrant aromas are sharpened and lifted by a peppery quality and a hint of candied flowers. Supple and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering sweet black and blue fruit flavors and a touch of olive that becomes

Thorn-Clarke 'Shotfire' Shiraz 2011
90  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 90 "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,

Thorn Clarke 'Terra Barossa' Shiraz 2011
" The 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. " ~ Winery Notes

Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Shiraz 2010
90  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 90 "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

Thorn Clarke 'Terra Barossa' Shiraz 2009
90  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 90 WE BEST BUYS 2012 Rank 12 This is a lush, full-bodied Barossa Shiraz at a bargain price ($18). Hints of charred wood accent mixed berries and rich, chocolaty flavors. Creamy on the finish, with mouthwatering acidity.  Wine Advocate 87 "The 2009 Terra Barossa Winemakers

Thorn Clarke 'Terra Barossa' Shiraz 2007
89  Robert Parker 
 Robert Parker 89 Best Value Stephen Tanzer 88 "Ruby-red. Spicy blackberry and blueberry on the nose, with licorice, espresso and fresh violet notes gaining volume with air. Pliant dark fruit flavors display liqueur-like density and are a bit four-square, with strong back-end sweetness. Finishes

Thorn Clarke 'Terra Barossa' Chardonnay 2008
88  Wine Spectator 
 Wine Spectator 88 "This crisp white offers nicely focused citrus and green apple flavors, hinting at spice as the finish lingers. Drink now through 2011. 1,000 cases made."  Robert Parker 87 "The 2008 Terra Barossa Chardonnay is medium straw-colored with an alluring nose of toast, citrus,

Thorn Clarke 'Shotfire' Shiraz 2008
90  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 90  "The 2008 Shotfire Shiraz was aged for 14-16 months in 40% new French and American oak hogsheads. Purple-colored, it offers up a nose of toasty oak, Asian spices, incense, blueberry, and blackberry. On the palate it has excellent flavors in a plush, nearly opulent style. The wine

Thorn Clarke 'Shotfire' Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
91  Robert Parker 
 Robert Parker 91 "The 2006 Shotfire Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 18 months in French oak. Purple-colored, it offers up a fragrant bouquet of cedar, spice box, earth notes, black currant, and blackberry. Bordering on opulent, it has gobs of savory black fruit, excellent balance, and a