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 vineyards are 445 metres above sea level and composed of brown/red sandy loam liberally dotted with ironstone and pink quartz, this hillside vineyard is spectacular. Trellised, cordon trained and spur pruned, it consistently produces well balanced, concentrated fruit from its meagre soils.
Hand picked they retained 25% whole bunches, gently crushing the other 75%. Thes whole bunches are placed on the floor of a concrete egg and the gently crushed fruit placed on top. The wine was then left to ferment spontaneously with no mechanical extraction. Once fermented, it was left on skins for 3 days before being pressed and transferred to 300 litre french hogsheads, of which 30% were new.
Time: 8 Months; Type: French 300 l; % oaked: 100; % new oak: 30;
The Advance Release wines are a portal into what the future holds for Thistledown. Joel Mattschoss' Menglers Hill site is an outstanding, forward thinking vineyard and we've been more than impressed by the results so far. This unique release offers a hint of the cooler side of Thistledown's Barossa Shiraz. A near perfect growing season resulted in beautifully balanced, intense yet aromatic and elegant wine. Smoky cassis, plum, olive and mocha lead through to a dense, refined palate with creamy, vibrant black fruits with hints of balsam.
Roast game, slow cooked short ribs with Asian spice.
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
Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020 94 Points
Wild-fermented with 25% whole bunches, matured in French hogsheads. Dense purple-red; notwithstanding its extreme youth, this full-bodied shiraz has inherent balance between the fruit, oak and tannins. Watch this space. JH, 94 Points, August 2019