In a nutshell: A beautifully balanced Australian red from the McLaren Vale.
The lowdown: Quite an unusually elegant take on Grenache which almost has a Pinot Noir like delicacy. The fruit for this is from low yielding 70 year old unirrigated bush vines from Blewitt Springs in the McLaren Vale region south of Adelaide. About 70% of the wne was fermented in concrete in layers of whole bunch and crushed fruit while the remainder underwent wild fermentation in an open fermenter. It was then aged for 10 months in French oak puncheons. The wine is violet scented with bright red fruit on the palate with a subtle savoury oak mingling through it. The crisp acidity and fine tannins give just the right balance and structure as it leads to a warm silky finish.
When to drink: It's an excellent match to foods with a North African influence, or feathered game dishes.
From their small-batch winery in the idyllic Adelaide Hills, just to the east of Adelaide itself, Giles Cooke and Fergal Tynan, both Masters of Wine, work with top quality fruit they've sourced from carefully vineyard sites. With the helping hand of Peter Leske they aim to make 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.
The grapes they use come from top quality vineyard sites across South Australia in the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills & Langhorne Creek. The fruit they use is on the way up rather than the way down so that they only need do as little as possible to it to get the best end results. And they certainly believe the small batch, hand-made wines they make are a little bit special.