Thistledown Bachelor’s Block Ebenezer Shiraz 2018
95pts The Wine Advocate – Grown by Andy Kalleske, the 2018 Bachelor’s Block Ebenezer Shiraz is textbook Barossa Valley Shiraz, with bold notes of purple raspberries and mint but also ample weight and concentration on the full-bodied palate, creamy, supple tannins and a rich, velvety and mouthwatering finish. Made with one-third whole clusters and matured in one-third new oak, neither shows much on the surface, but both impart extra dimension to this multifaceted wine. It should drink well for at least a decade.
95pts Halliday Wine Companion – I like this. A lot! Again, a sturdy clutch of whole-bunch (40%) mettle and a twine of peppery acidity serves to galvanize teeming blue and black fruit flavors with a sense of restraint. No shortage of richness, soaring violet aromas and the heft desired by many. Barossa, after all. But the overall sense is of a wine from somewhere cooler; a hand with a deft touch. Vinous density juxtaposed against an uncanny lightness and thrumming intensity. Kudos!
93pts Wine Spectator Weekly Online February 2021 – Powerful and impressive, a juicy mix of currant, maraschino cherry and spiced plum notes that are fleshy and mouthwatering. Earl Grey tea, dark chocolate, cumin and clove details are aromatic and harmonious with velvety tannins and a long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2030. —M.W.
Above average rainfall in July and August filled soil profiles and dams but from then on the season was very dry. It is this dry weather that characterized the 2018 season and the low disease pressure coupled with ideal conditions for flowering and early development set the vines up for an excellent season. With virtually no rainfall between January and April, fruit quality in all areas was very good though some heat stress in February led to isolated defoliation. As we like to pick ‘on the way up’ our season began quickly with several varieties ripening at once but then progressed nicely, with the ability to pick when it suited. We’re familiar with this fruit and so the aim in 2018 was to maximize the potential of the site. As ever, we hand-picked relatively early in order to preserve the fresher aromatics. We’re familiar with this fruit and so the aim in 2018 was to maximize the potential of the site. As ever, we hand-picked relatively early in order to preserve the fresher aromatics.