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.
We have bought fruit from this vineyard for a number of years and it is a consistent performer even in the less good years. In 2014, this vineyard performed out of its skin and it was while we were in the vineyard that we came across a little lizardy fellow called a Thorny Devil. We liked the name and the fruit produced beautiful wine and so we decided that it was high enough quality to be bottled on its own.
With Grenache, we are always looking to maximise fruit purity, texture and finesse rather than making a.n other rich red wine. While there is no denying that Grenache is more burly than Pinot, we always have the vision of making Pinot style wines within the, albeit, challenging framework of Grenache!
The Fruit was gently crushed to retain as many whole berries as possible before a cold soak prior to fermentation. Fermentation began naturally and hand plunging twice a day was carried out through to dryness. Gently pressed off skins before 10 months in old oak hogsheads.
The resulting wine has the characteristic Barossa punch but there is a beguiling texture and perfume that keeps you interested.
Time: 10 Months; Type: 2nd and third use barrels (225 and 300 litre); % oaked: 100; % new oak: 10;
Packing the characteristic Barossa punch, this delicately hued red is otherwise very elegant with vibrant wild strawberry, spice and silky texture.
A beautiful match for game meats, North African lamb and charcuterie
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
James Halliday 94 Points
The inclusion of 9% Grenache from McLaren Vale has worked well, for there's more structure and spine than many Barossa Valley grenaches at this price. The red fruits that are the heart and soul of this wine are delicious. JH, May 2017, 94 Points.