Thistledown, Vagabond Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2017
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.
From 70 year old, dry grown, bush vines in Blewitt Springs planted in deep sands with some ironstone. The fruit was hand picked.
50% was wild fermented in a concrete egg which had layers of whole bunch and crushed fruit. This ferment had no mechanical extraction. The balance was wild fermented in an open fermenter with 35% whole bunches, hand plunged twice daily. This portion was aged in puncheons while the egg fermented was pressed back to the egg for maturation.
Time: 10 Months; Type: French Puncheons; % oaked: 10;
A beautifully balanced red, this is an unusually elegant take on Grenache with an almost Pinot like delicacy, the wine is violet scented with bright red fruit on the palate, subtle savoury oak and a warm silky finish.
North African influenced foods, jamon and game.
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 96 Points
From old bushvines at Blewitt Springs, matured in a concrete egg and French puncheons (10% new). Ah,
take one look at the crystal clear crimson hue and you’ll know the wine comes from old vines in McLaren Vale. What is truly remarkable is the way the wine has soaked up the new French oak without raising a sweat. This is lovely.’ Screwcap. 14.5% alc. To: 2037.JH, 96 Points.
James Halliday Grenache Challenge 2018
The Wine Front 94 Points.
Old vines in Blewitt Springs. 200 dozen made. A bit of liquorice, raspberry, thyme, a little spice. Juicy, expressive and lively, dry and grainy tannin, freshness, good length, perfumed dried herb finish, and a dry one at that too. Fine Grenache here. GW, 94 Points.
Huon Hooke 92 Points
Medium to deep red/purple colour, with a fresh raspberry, fruit-driven aroma. The palate is soft and fruity, with deliciously grapy raspberry and cranberry-like flavours, the palate full-bodied, supple in texture and rounded, with plenty of fine-grained tannins in good balance. The tannins add structure, backbone and length and promise the wine will age well. It does drink well now, but a little age will enable it to build complexity. (from Blewitt Springs) 2018–2033, HH 92 Points