2008 Thorn-Clarke Shiraz Shotfire

Year: 2008
Appellation: Barossa Valley
Country: Australia
Wine Spectator: 87
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 89
Wine Enthusiast: 88
Jeremy Oliver on Australian Wine: 90
Red Wine
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"Firm and chewy, with a smoky note most prominent among the dark berry and licorice flavors, lingering against chunky tannins. Best after 2011. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 25,000 cases made." (WS)

"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 is balanced, rich, fleshy, and ripe. Drink this full-flavored effort over the next 6-8 years.

Thorn-Clarke is a fine source for values from Australia. There are three levels of wine, the Milton Park series lined priced at $13, the Terra Barossa series line priced at $15, and the Shotfire series line priced at $24. Typically they can be found discounted at hard to resist prices." (WA)

"($24) Inky ruby. Exotically perfumed aromas of cherry-cola, vanilla and boysenberry, with a hint of cracked pepper adding vivacity. Lush and creamy on the palate, offering sweet dark fruit flavors and a building note of bitter chocolate. Very rich but not overdone, finishing with very good breadth and sweetness. This needs rich food, like a piece of grilled lamb or a pungent blue cheese." (IWC)

"This medium- to full-bodied Shiraz features a welcoming mix of mulberries and vanilla, overtaken by cedary flavors on the finish, where the fruit turns crisp. A slab of charred steak would match the woody notes nicely. Drink now–2013. " (WE)

"A very good honest wine ready to enjoy now or cellar. Lifted by notes of spice and black pepper, its lightly smoky and gamey bouquet of fresh red and black berries, dark plums and sweet cedar/vanilla oak reveals some meaty and earthy complexity. It’s lively, fresh and smooth, with a polished, velvet-like spine beneath its brightly lit, juicy and fractionally jammy flavours of black and red berries and vanilla/chocolate oak, although it does finish with some firmness and drying tannin. (Barossa Valley, $34 retail, approx., 17.0/90, drink 2013-2016)" (JO)

Winery Notes:
The grapes are crushed and destemmed into open fermenters. Yeast is added immediately once in fermenter and the ferments are pumped over twice daily to maximize color, tannin and flavor extraction. Cooling is used to ensure ferments remain in the 22-25 degrees Celsius range which will allow the fruit to display maximum fruit expression. Pressing then occurs approximately seven days after crushing and the wine is then put into a mix of French and American oak to mature. 14 to 16 months in 40% new American and French hogsheads, with the balance going into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels.

The 2008 vintage was early with just below average rainfall throughout the year. Deep red color. Very lifted and intense nose of blackberry fruit, sweet spice and dark chocolate. The palate is very rich and flavorsome with blackberry and plum fruit. In addition to the primary fruit characters there is plenty of complexity in this wine with spice, earthy notes and graphite also evident. There is heaps of mouthfilling flavor complemented by chalky tannins. There is great length of fruit as well.