Thistledown She’s Electric Grenache 2018
There is an overhead power cable across the vineyard. It turns out that there had been a power cut and during the outage some birds perched on the line. As the electricity surged through the line again, a combustible bird fell to the ground and set light to the vineyard, destroying half of the original vines making a scarce resource even scarcer. The world’s first avaian vine selection programme! Thankfully half of the vines survived and the fruit used is from the older part of the vineyard. The aromatic, perfumed aromas on the nose lead through to a delicate yet vibrant palate of spiced wild strawberry fruit, violets and cinnamon. Textured, enticing and delicious.
96 Points JamesSuckling.com
95 Points The Wine Front
92 Points Huon Hooke
A dry grown, old bush vine site in the Seaview sub-region of McLaren Vale, overlooking the Onkaparinga gorge. Farmed using organic principles, the wide spacing, small vines and extensive cover crops give this vineyard a distinctly natural feel.
The low yielding vines with good, open canopies allowed for perfectly ripe fruit to be hand-picked with bright fruit and crisp natural acidity. 50% of the fruit destemmed and barely crushed while leaving the rest as whole bunches. Gentle treading of the grapes resulted in a natural fermentation with twice daily gentle hand plunging. Once pressed off, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel before an 8 month stay in older barrels before bottling without fining or filtration.
It is dry weather that characterised 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, particularly on Shiraz. As we like to pick “on the way up” our season began quickly with a number of varieties ripening at once but then progressed nicely, with the ability to pick when it suited given the settled weather.