Thistledown, She's Electric Single Vineyard Old Vine Grenache, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2021
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.
Some vineyards have a remarkable story to tell and Thistledown 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! They were so glad that some of the amazing old vines are still there for them 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.
Type: French 300l oak hogshead
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: None
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.
North African and Middle eastern cuisine or robust fish dishes.
The Wine Front 95 Points
From a vineyard at the Seaview end of Chapel Hill Rd. 50% old bunch and used French hogsheads. Dark raspberry, sage and thyme, spice and dried roses. Medium-bodied, ripe raspberry, silky and sooty tannin, perfume of bergamot and gentle twist of amaro, a sort of stony/earthy character, almond and fine grip on a long and fragrant red berry finish. Beautiful wine. And it needs more time. 95 Points, GW, Dec 2021
Huon Hooke 95 Points
Medium to deep red colour with a good tint of purple. The bouquet shows iodine, balsamic herbs possibly signalling some whole-bunch activity. It's full-bodied and rich in the mouth, the generous flavour backed judiciously by abundant tannins, nice and ripe. Luscious stuff—but also has a little more structure than The Vagabond. (50% whole bunches) 95 Points, HH, Feb 2022.
James Halliday Wine Companion 96 Points
The Vagabond is superlative, but this is extraordinary! The tannins, taut, febrile and wound across a spool of sage, thyme and blood orange zest. The drive of red cherry, rhubarb and Mediterranean herb is palate staining, without ever reneging on its sandy, vibrant and effortless hand. Incredibly complex. Scintillating length. Kerpow! 96 Points, NG, March 2022.
Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 95 Points
The 2021 She's Electric Old Vine Single Vineyard Grenache is like silken tofu in the mouth: it's is all about velvety texture, except here, the fruit is punctuated and supported by both very fine tannins and tense acid. This is a very smart wine, exciting, with notes of blood, raspberry pip, pink peppercorn and red licorice. It has a texturally creamy undertow, and the tannins are powdery and smashed into the fruit. Awesome. 95 Points, EL, July 2022.
6 x 75cl
Award: The Wine Companion 91 Points
Award: James Halliday Wine Companion 95 Points
Award: James Suckling 93 Points
Award: The Wine Front 94 Points
Award: Huon Hooke 96 Points
Award: The Wine Front 93 Points
Award: The Wine Front 96 Points