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Product code: 2114

Thistledown, She's Electric Single Vineyard Old Vine Grenache, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2019

Thistledown, She's Electric Single Vineyard Old Vine Grenache, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2019

Producer Profile

Ever since historic Scots, James Busby and John MacArthur founded the Australian wine industry in the early 19th century, the relationship between Scotland and Australia has been an enduring one.

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. In one of the most geologically diverse regions in the world, Grenache thrives but has not always been valued – until now.


Some vineyards have a remarkable story to tell and we came upon such a vineyard in late 2016. At the Seaview end of Chapel Hill Rd, it’s old bush vines contrasted by a planting of much younger Grenache. Apparently, half of the vineyard was burned when a bird caught light on a power line, fell to the ground and set light to the vineyard! We were so glad that some of the amazing old vines are still there for us to use. Dry grown, old bush vines, grown on red-brown sandy loams with quartz and ironstone. Low intervention viticulture with minimal spray regime, cover crops and promotion of biodiversity.


The fruit was hand-picked early in the morning before swift transport to the winery where they retained 50% whole bunches. A gentle foot pressing helped establish the wild ferment. Once fermented, the wine was transferred to 300 litre used French oak hogsheads where it stayed for 6 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Oak Treatment

Time: 6 Months
Type: French 300l oak hogshead
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: None

Tasting Note

Aromatic, fragrant and almost pinot like, this wine has great energy. Cranberry, spice and wild cherry combine with silky texture to create a beautifully elegant red.

Food Matching

North African and Middle eastern cuisine or robust fish dishes.


James Suckling 96 Points
A super fragrant and floral rendition of this old-vine parcel from the Seaview district of the vale. It has aromas of poached strawberries and raspberries with a very seductive, whole-bunch (50%) influence. The palate has such impressive detail with a very pure and sleekly layered shape, mapped out with super fine, layered tannins. The red-berry, pomegranate and blood-orange flavors are deliciously fresh. 96 Points. May 2020.
The Wine Companion 96 Points
Dry-grown on stingy soils in Seaview, manifest as abstemious yields. hand-picked with 50% whole bunch, ditto whole berries as the rest; all whacked into a gently extractive wild ferment, foot trodden. The tannic glean a reflection of everything prior and an ample post-ferment maceration. This smells like Turkish delight, tomato, wild raspberry, bergamot, sour cherry and something rocky. The tannins, sand-etched and beautifully detailed. A pliant density. This set of wines is so on the pulse! I am astounded, smitten and swooning, all at once’. 96 Points, NG, Aug 2020
Jancis Robinson 16.5 Points
Just 675 bottles produced from old vines at the Seaview end of Chapel Hill Road. The fruit was hand-picked early in the morning of 1 March before 'swift transport to the winery' where 50% whole bunches were retained. A gentle foot-pressing helped establish the wild ferment. Aged in 300-litre used French oak hogsheads for six months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Giles Cooke MW of importers Alliance Wine in Scotland is nursemaid of Thistledown, which have three Grenaches in this collection. Bright mid garnet. Not much nose. But very lively palate with some raspberry notes and marked acidity (the whole-bunch effect?) and some sandy tannins. Easy to love, with real delicacy, but more youthful than the Bondar 2019. Lightly chewy at this point. Good with food? JR, 16.5 Points, Nov 2020

Technical Details
Grenache 100%

Screw cap


Still wine

Case Size:
6 x 75cl