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Product code: 2943

Thistledown, Thorny Devil Grenache, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2021

Thistledown, Thorny Devil Grenache, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2021

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.


In 2014, the vineyard the fruit came from performed out of its skin and it was while in the vineyard that they came across a little lizardy fellow called a Thorny Devil. They liked the name and the fruit produced beautiful wine and so decided that it was high enough quality to be bottled on its own. The fruit for Thorny Devil came from a variety of some of the finest vineyards in McLaren Vale. Old bush trained vines and sandy, mineral strewn vineyards ensure that this is amongst the most delicious of Grenaches.


With Grenache, they are always looking to maximise fruit purity, texture and finesse rather than making just another rich red wine. While there is no denying that Grenache is more burly than Pinot, they always have the vision of making Pinot style wines within the, albeit, challenging framework of Grenache! The fruit was hand picked from a variety of sites, all of which were vinified separately with up to 30% whole bunches retained in the ferment. Fermentation began naturally and hand plunging twice a day was carried out through to dryness. Gently pressed off skins before 10 months in old oak hogsheads.

Oak Ageing

Time: 10 Months
Type: second and third use barrels (225 and 300 litre)
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 10

Tasting Note

The wine has the characteristic McLaren Vale perfume and spice with a beguiling texture and perfume that unfolds, layer by layer. This delicately hued red is otherwise very elegant with vibrant wild strawberry, spice and silky texture.

Food Matching

A beautiful match for game meats, North African lamb and charcuterie.


The Wine Front 94 Points
From a variety of sites across McLaren Vale, hand-picked, 30% whole bunch, raised in old oak. Perfumed, spicy, cherry and raspberry, almond and Earl Grey tea. It’s medium-bodied, firm but ripe tannin with a graphite feel, kind of dry but succulent, raspberry and roses, with a pleasing tannic crunch and freshness to the long finish. Excellent Grenache. Invigorating. 94 Points, GW, Dec 2021
Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 95 Points
Aromas of savory spice, hung deli meat and blood fill the senses, but it is in the mouth where the purity and succulence of the fruit is revealed. This 2021 Thorny Devil Grenache is long and savory, sweet and fine, built into a framework of pliable tannin and exotic spice. Balanced and exciting. 95 Points, EL, July 2022.

Technical Details
Grenache 94%
Mataro 6%
Vegetarian Vegan

Screw cap


Still wine

Case Size:
6 x 75cl