In a nutshell: A lively, complex and quite powerful South Australian Grenache from McLaren Vale.
The lowdown: McLaren Vale Grenache is certainly something the winemakers at Thistledown specialise in and their various cuvées bring out many of the differing aspects of this grape. This expression comes from vines up to 100 years old grown on a single site in the Clerandon sub-region of McLaren Vale. After hand picking the grapes were wild fermented in large open vessels before being pressed off into a mix of used and new 300 litre French oak hogsheads for a period of twelve months. It's packed with aromas of ripe raspberries and rich brambles and these silky black fruits follow to the palate and couple with deep, rich, warming spices, hints of violet and black cherries. The flavours linger nicely as it heads to the lengthy finish.
When to drink: Muscular, yet elegantly silky this is a great match to things like beef casserole, or coq au vin.
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.