In a nutshell: A subtle and hauntingly aromatic, single vineyard, McLaren Vale, South Australian red.
The lowdown: The fruit for this is sourced from a 75 year old vineyard in the Blewitt Springs area of McLaren Vale which has just the right aspect, soils and elevation for dry farmed bush vine Grenache. After a few years blending the fruit from here with their other vineyards they decided, in 2017, that this site has all the characteristics to make a superb single vineyard wine. Everything is hand picked and fermented slowly and gently in concrete vessels followed by maturation in a mix of oak barrels and concrete for 10 months prior to bottling which is done without filtration or fining. The result is a wine which is a faithful expression of the vineyard site; it's highly aromatic with sandalwood, violets and wood spice on the nose which follows on to a palate that is elegant and vibrant, but with well concentrated flavours of wild strawberries, violets and a touch of cinnamon.
When to drink: Silky smooth and deliciously drinkable it's a great match for, not too spicy, asian cuisine and the like.
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.