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. Giles Cooke MW and Fergal Tynan MW, with the helping hand of Peter Leske, craft lithe, energetic wines that illustrate the benefits of great sites and intelligent, low-intervention winemaking. Giles and Fergal share a particular passion for Grenache and, in ever more detail, Thistledown continue to unpick the rich patchwork of South Australian Grenache, reassembling it in their own inimitable style. This unique blend of superb fruit sources and experience in both the New and the Old Worlds helps craft wine of subtlety, texture and detail, wines perfectly suited to complement rather than overwhelm fine food.
We have bought fruit from this vineyard for a number of years and it is a consistent performer even in the less good years. In 2014, this vineyard performed out of its skin and it was while we were in the vineyard that we came across a little lizardy fellow called a Thorny Devil. We liked the name and the fruit produced beautiful wine and so we decided that it was high enough quality to be bottled on its own.
With Grenache, we are always looking to maximise fruit purity, texture and finesse rather than making another rich red wine. While there is no denying that Grenache is more burly than Pinot, we always have the vision of making Pinot style wines within the, albeit, challenging framework of Grenache! The Fruit was gently crushed to retain as many whole berries as possible before a cold soak prior to fermentation. 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. The resulting wine has the characteristic Barossa punch but there is a beguiling texture and perfume that keeps you interested.
Packing the characteristic Barossa punch, this delicately hued red is otherwise very elegant with vibrant wild strawberry, spice and silky texture.