Thistledown, Sands of Time Single Vineyard Old Vine Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2022
Masters of Wine, Giles Cooke & Fergal Tynan, founded Thistledown Wines in 2010 after discovering iconic vineyard sites in the McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills.
They make hand-made, small batch wines that perfectly illustrate the benefits of great sites and intelligent, minimalist winemaking.
Early on in their Grenache journey, the Thistledown team were introduced to Sue Trott’s Home Block in the Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale. Its beautiful aspect, raised elevation and free-draining deep sandy soils are the perfect spot for old dry-grown bush-vine Grenache and they feel so lucky to be offered the opportunity to purchase a little fruit. 5 years on and they have learned a little about the site and refined their picking decisions and vinification to the extent that from 2017 they were content that they could do the site justice by bottling separately.
Hand-picked, on the way up, they vinify naturally in concrete and place whole bunches alternately with de-stemmed fruit to create a layer cake. A very gentle, slow fermentation is followed by maturation in oak and concrete before a careful selection is done, which is then bottled unfined and unfiltered 10 months later.
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: None
A faithful expression of the site- beautiful, haunting aromatics, fine sandy tannins and wonderful, memorable length on the palate.
A great match for many Asian-style dishes as long as they aren’t too spicy.
6 x 75cl
Award: James Halliday 93 Points
Award: Jancis Robinson 16 Points
Award: Global Fine Wine Challenge 2021
Award: Huon Hooke 96 Points
Award: The Wine Front 95 Points
Award: The Wine Front 94 Points