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.
The single block that this wine is sourced from is in the Ebenezer sub region of the Barossa. Famed for being the home of some of the region's best fruit, this sub region produces very high quality, low yielding fruit from the dark, iron rich soils. The vineyard is pruned and trained to yield at 2.5 to 3 tons per acre with a good balance of vegetation to provide protection from the sun.
Picking time is of great importance and as ever, we look to pick on the way up rather than the way down. Hand-picked and swiftly transported to our winery in the Adelaide Hills. Left to cold soak for a couple of days before the natural fermentation began in open top fermenters. Hand plunged twice a day and left for 6 days on skins post fermentation prior to pressing. The wine was then transferred to 300 litre French hogsheads.
Time: 18 Months; Type: 300 Litre French Hogsheads; % oaked: 100; % new oak: 33;
A complex and savoury nose with hints of graphite, liquorice, spice and blackberry. The palate is well balanced with dense, smoky black fruits and beautifully polished, glossy tannins that provide a mouthfilling yet succulent, energetic finish.
Braised ox cheeks, roast rib of beef.
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 94 Points
Single vineyard from Ebenezer. Bachy! Dark fruit, mocha, sage and mint. Full-bodied, dense graphite tannin, bold fruit, but retains a sense of coolness and ‘minerality’, perfume and coal, flows along beautifully and finishes long. A fair bit of class here, not least from a tricky. GW, 94 Points.
James Suckling 92 Points
There’s a very rich feel here with assertive red plums and nicely cut tannins that carry plenty of fresh, punchy red-fruit flavor. JS, 92 Points, June 2019.
Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020 96 Points
Hand-picked, wild-fermented with 40% whole bunches, 60% whole berries, 5 days on skins, matured for 18 months in French hogsheads (50% new). A very complex, yet complete, medium to full-bodied shiraz with abundant plum and blackberry fruit threaded with ribbons of spice and positive tannins. JH, 96 Points, August 2019