Thistledown, Where Eagles Dare Single Vineyard Shiraz, Eden Valley, Barossa, Australia, 2020
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.
Perched high above the Barossa, the Eden Valley can be a precarious but highly rewarding place in which to grow grapes. This single vineyard, at 550m above sea level is hauntingly beautiful. Home to the majestic wedgetail eagle, the soils composed of pink quartz and ironstone, provide a formidable substrate in which the vines takes a tenuous hold. Fruit is sourced from one low yielding block in Joel Mattschoss’ Mengler’s Hill vineyard. The fruit is hand-picked and transferred to the winery.
20% of the total weight is placed in whole bunches in a concrete egg while the balance is crushed and placed on top. A spontaneous fermentation with no physical extraction aims to capture the rugged beauty of the vineyard while preserving the energy and vitality that are the hallmarks of our style. A brief post fermentation maceration is followed by pressing and transfer to 300 litre French hogsheads, of which 50% are new. 12 months later, the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Type: 300 litre French hogsheads
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 50
Intense, tightly coiled and vital, this wine is like a great orator. Beautifully complex, red and black bramble fruits support the naunces of spice and peppery notes. Every component measured and well timed, the tone lifts and falls, all the while building emotion and resonance. Tension and excitement builds and leads through to a memorable finish. Oh, and it tastes amazing!
Big meaty dishes, with rich and reductive sauces.
Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 97 Points
The fruit for the 2020 Where Eagles Dare Shiraz is from the Mattschoss Vineyard in the Eden Valley. One assumes the title refers to the great elevation at which this vineyard is situated; 550 meters above sea level is a commanding perch. The dirt up there is pink quartz pressed into ironstone, and it's compacted into all the dirt roads you care to drive down. It's a beautiful thing, actually. Aromatically, the wine offers up sumac, biltong and mulberries with a graphite, crushed lead-pencil character. The wine is minerally and layered with black tea, spring flowers, red apple skins and a raft of forest berries. Really smart, and a decant is going to open this up untold. 97 Points, EL, September 2022.
6 x 75cl
Award: James Halliday 90 Points
Award: The Wine Front 92 Points
Award: Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 95 Points
Award: James Halliday Wine Companion 95 Points
Award: James Halliday 94 Points
Award: James Suckling 93 Points
Award: James Halliday 93 Points