Thistledown, Where Eagles Dare Single Vineyard Shiraz, Eden Valley, Barossa, 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.
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.
The Wine Advocate 93 Points
The 2021 Where Eagles Dare Shiraz hails from the Mattschoss vineyard up in Eden Valley, and the wine is intially quite aromatically subdued. In the mouth, the fruit bursts from the docks, with licorice, blackberry, mulberry and black olive brine. The wine feels like it needs a really good decant to assist it in unfurling and giving up some of the characters we know it can have. The wine is elegant and fine yet grunty and forthright, driven by tannin and grit in the mouth. For all of these descriptors, the wine is actually elegant, but it just does so with some texture, which I like. Bottle number 0996 of 1775, 14.5% alcohol, sealed under Diam and wax. 93 Points, EL, August 2021.
6 x 75cl
Award: The Wine Front 94 Points
Award: Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 97+ Points
Award: Huon Hooke 96 Points
Award: James Halliday 94 Points
Award: James Suckling 93 Points
Award: Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 97 Points
Award: The Wine Advocate 95 Points
Award: The Wine Front 96 Points