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.
Free your mind from stereotypes of the past, be willing to give things another go and imagine the beauty and subtlety that can be borne of an otherwise hostile environment. Not afraid to do the same ourselves, it's taken a second incarnation before we were convinced that we had captured the real beauty of the Barossa.
Drawing on fruit from Ebenezer, Kalimna and Koonunga regions of north west Barossa, fruit was characteristically picked on the way up rather than the way down with a proportion hand picked and retained as whole bunches in the ferment. the remaining fruit was gently destemmed to leave whole berries before a native yeast ferment with twice daily hand plunges to aid gentle extraction. Each component part was aged separately for 6 months prior to blending and then a further 12 months in 300l French oak, of which 30% was new. The wine was then bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Time: 12 Months; Type: 300l French Oak; % oaked: 100; % new oak: 30;
Complex and concentrated yet pleasingly light on it's feet. Free your mind from stereotypes of the past, be willing to give things another go and imagine the beauty and subtlety that can be borne of an otherwise hostile environment. Not afraid to do the same ourselves, it's taken a second incarnation before we were convinced that we had captured the real beauty of the Barossa.
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 94 Points
Blackcurrant, blackberry, something like caramel coated popcorn, spice and dried flower perfume. Medium-bodied, dense feel to the wine, though not heavy, plenty of rich silty tannin, spice and cracked wheat, smooth long finish with an almost lavender and sage perfume trailing. Pleasing sense of composure here, and already very good to drink. GW, 94 Points.
James Suckling 92 Points
This has a deep, blackberry core of aromas and flavors with earth and baking spices also in the mix. The palate texture is luxurious and very fleshy and the dark-berry flavors hold bright and long. JS, 92 Points, June 2019.
Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020 94 Points
From three blocks in the Ebenezer district, whole-bunch inclusion between zero and 40% across the blocks, wild-fermented and macerated, 13 months in French hogsheads (50% new) then a best barrel selection. Oak opens the betting on both the bouquet and palate, but has solid fruit support that should be sufficient to carry the wine to a declaration of readiness for consumption. JH, 94 Points, August 2019.