It seems a lot of the major wine regions begin with the letter B: Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Brunello and Barolo. I’ve got another one to add to the list: Barossa. Today, we’re talking about Thorn-Clarke Shiraz from Barossa.
Is that in France?
No. Barossa Valley is located in Southern Australia, just over 50km away from Adelaide. While it’s considered a ‘new world’ region, Barossa actually has a deep history, with the first vineyards recorded as early as the 1840’s. The settlers were German, which attributed to the early attempts at growing Riesling (a German grape, in case you didn’t know). Through decades of trial and error, the warm and dry climate allowed Shiraz to eventually prove itself as the king of Barossa.
Shiraz is King
Today, Shiraz covers nearly 8,000 hectares of the region’s plantings. The second most planted grape is Cabernet Sauvignon with just less than 2,000 hectares. While red varieties account for 97% of the region’s wine production, white varieties (including outstanding Riesling) are grown in the cooler hills to the east of the Valley.
The Thorn-Clarke Family
Barossa is home to more than 500 grape growing families, many of which are proudly in their sixth generation. Two of those families joined forces to create their first vintage in 2001. The love and eventual marriage between David Clarke and Cheryl Thorn led to the beginning Thorn-Clarke. Today, their portfolio includes more than 25 wines including a sparkling wine and a fortified wine.
Here in BC…
The Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz is a new addition to shelves in BC Liquor Stores. Of the 22 Barossa Shiraz’s available, it’s the ONLY one with a 5 star consumer rating.
Here’s what it tasted like:
‘Juicy’ was the first word that came to mind when I took a sip. While structured, it’s generous with its fruit flavours which include blueberry, blackberry and plum with a touch of red cherry. The flavours were fresh, not too jammy, and with a touch of spice to round it out. The acidity is balanced. Tannins are evident but not overpowering. One of my go-to indicators of a quality wine is good length (i.e. the flavours you can still taste after swallowing). And the length was good. But if I’m being honest, I didn’t really have a chance to let it linger because all I wanted to do was drink it!
If you’re in a pinch and need a grab-and-go bottle for a dinner party or a gift, this Shiraz is a stellar people pleaser. The fruitiness welcomes warmth resulting in a super drinkable, food friendly wine.
I love it when a bottle has a story. In this case, Thorn Clarke welcomes you into their family when you drink their wine. ‘Family Owned, Estate Grown’ as it says on their capsule and label. If you want to learn more about their story, and see some pretty amazing historical pictures, visit ThornClarkeWines.com.au.