Guardians of a long history, Thistledown Wine Co. continues the tradition of Scottish ingenuity and great Australian wine. From their small-batch winery in the idyllic Adelaide Hills, they work with pristine fruit sourced from iconic vineyard sites. Giles Cooke MW and Fergal Tynan MW, with the helping hand of Peter Leske, craft lithe, energetic wines that illustrate the benefits of great sites and intelligent, low-intervention winemaking. Giles and Fergal share a particular passion for Grenache and, in ever more detail, Thistledown continue to unpick the rich patchwork of South Australian Grenache – reassembling it in their own inimitable style. This unique blend of superb fruit sources and experience in both the New and the Old Worlds helps craft wine of subtlety, texture and detail – wines perfectly suited to complement rather than overwhelm fine food.
A dry grown, old bush vine site in the Seaview sub-region of McLaren Vale, overlooking the Onkaparinga gorge. Farmed using organic principles, the wide spacing, small vines and extensive cover crops give this vineyard a distinctly natural feel.
The low yielding vines with good, open canopies allowed for perfectly ripe fruit to be hand picked with bright fruit and crisp natural acidity. Once in the winery, we destemmed and barely crushed 50% while leaving the rest as whole bunches. Gentle treading of the grapes resulted in a natural fermentation with twice daily gentle hand plunging of the must to aid extraction. Once pressed off, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel before an 8 month stay in older barrels before bottling without fining or filtration.
Time: 8 Months; Type: French 300l oak hogshead; % oaked: 100; % new oak: None;
Wine always taste better when there is a good story behind it and She's Electric is no exception. In the vineyard where the grapes are sourced from is an overhead power cable...It turns out that there had been a power cut and during the power outage, some birds had perched on the lines. As the electricity surged through the line again, a combustible bird fell to the ground and set light to the vineyard, destroying half of the original vines and in one fell swoop made a scarce resource even scarcer. The world’s first avian vine selection programme! Thankfully half of the vines survived and the fruit used is from the older part of the vineyard.
The aromatic, perfumed aromas on the nose lead through to a delicate yet vibrant palate of spiced wild strawberry fruit, violets and cinnamon. Textured, enticing and delicious.
North African and Middle eastern cuisine or robust fish dishes.
Our Green Principals are those that demonstrate a responsible and sustainable approach to
viticulture, vinification, commerce and community.
Rational producers demonstrate that they use the least amount of intervention in the vineyard and winery to make the best possible wine.
Thistledown try to harvest a little earlier in order to retain natural freshness and balance, reducing the need for additions and intervention. Buying only from sustainable, premium vineyards, they work with producers committed to reducing intervention and increasing sustainability, where possible, favouring dry grown sites. Minimal intervention in the winery is encouraged. In McLaren Vale, Thistledown works with growers involved in the sustainable viticulture programme.
Fair producers demonstrate a fair and even-handed approach in all aspects of how they conduct business.
Thistledown ensures that all growers are paid a fair price to enable them to maintain their vineyards and invest in progressive vineyard management practices.
Awards and Reviews
The Wine Front 93+ Points
"She’s electric. She’s in a family full of eccentrics.” Well that takes me back to when I was living in England at the height of Britpop. Anyway, back then Australian Grenache was very much second fiddle to Shiraz, but no longer. Definitely maybe. Spice, red fruits, dried herb and floral perfume. Medium-bodied, certainly ‘warm climate Pinot Noir’ style here, delicate with a subtle earthiness, playful kitten’s tongue tannin, balanced acidity, and a dry and firm finish of excellent length. Its best days are ahead of it.". GW, 93+ Points.
James Suckling 93 Points
Attractive wild raspberries, delivered in very bright, attractive, fresh mode. The pastry-like tannins deliver a crunchy, vibrant style here. JS, 93 Points, June 2019.
Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020 96 Points
From a single, old dry-grown bushvine vineyard on the Seaview end of Chapel Hill Road. Hand-picked, 50% whole bunch, 50% whole berry, foot-trodden and hand-plunged, 6 days on skins post ferment. As pure as the driven snow multi-cherry and raspberry flavours, the mouthfeel supple, yet allows a span of flavours and textures to make fleeting appearances across the palate. JH,96 Points, August 2019