Thistledown, Advance Release, Grenache, Moritz Road, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, South Australia, 2018
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.
Dry grown, bush vines on Maslin sand at around 250 m, planted approx 75 years ago. Gentle south east facing slope. Low yielding vines.
Hand picked, wild fermented using 20% whole bunches in an open fermenter. Hand plunged gently during active ferment. 15 days skin contact. Pressed to 300l French 2nd and 3rd use hogsheads. Matured for 8 months prior to individual barrel selection. Hand bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Time: 8 Months; Type: French 300 l; % oaked: 100; % new oak: None;
The Advance Release wines are a portal into what the future holds for Thistledown. This beautiful, old vineyard has some of the most characterful fruit in the district and just begged to be bottled separately to allow it to strut its stuff. An intense, deep coloured Grenache filled with wild cherry, spice and violets. Silky tannins and crisp, mouthwatering fruit leads through to a vivid, juicy finish.
Asian spiced, slow roast duck. Tagine of lamb.
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 95 Points
378 bottles made from 50 year old vines in Blewitt Springs, planted on Maslin sands, more commonly associated with nude tunnel ball and the like. And on that note, we conclude what’s perhaps been the most Grenache-laden month in the history of The Wine Front.
Sage and spice, cherry and raspberry, subtle earthiness. It’s deep and flavoursome, concentrated and firm in tannin, juicy and savoury, vivid and very long. The volume of flavour here, delivered with structure and style, is quite something. 95 Points, GW, July 2019.
Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020 96 Points
Dry-grown bushvines, wild-fermented with 20% whole bunches, matured in used French hogsheads, hand-bottled, all 400. Beautiful crimson-purple hue; highly expressive bouquet of red and purple fruits sets the scene for the rich palate, which is likewise redolent of high quality grenache, almost painful in their intensity. JH, 96 Points, August 2019