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.
Early on in their Grenache journey, the Thistledown team were introduced to Sue Trott’s Home Block in the Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale. Its beautiful aspect, raised elevation and free-draining deep sandy soils are the perfect spot for old dry-grown bush-vine Grenache and they feel so lucky to be offered the opportunity to purchase a little fruit. 5 years on and they have learned a little about the site and refined their picking decisions and vinification to the extent that from 2017 they were content that they could do the site justice by bottling separately.
Hand-picked, on the way up, they vinify naturally in concrete and place whole bunches alternately with de-stemmed fruit to create a layer cake. A very gentle, slow fermentation is followed by maturation in oak and concrete before a careful selection is done, which is then bottled unfined and unfiltered 10 months later. A faithful expression of the site – beautiful, haunting aromatics, fine sandy tannins and wonderful, memorable length on the palate.
Sourced from one 75 year old vineyard, the bush trained vines on pure sand yield up a wine of immense purity and power that is both light and intense at the same time. Highly aromatic with notes of sandalwood, dried orange, violets and wood spice on the nose, it follows through to a palate that is paradoxically elegant and vibrant but concentrated and persistent. Silky smooth with a glossy, highly attractive palate of wild strawberry, violets and the merest hint of cinnamon and woodsmoke. Achingly beautiful but deliciously drinkable all at once.
A great match for many Asian-style dishes as long as they aren’t too spicy.