Thistledown This Charming Man Grenache 2019
On a beautiful hillside in the Clarendon sub-region of McLaren Vale, three generations of the Smart family have devoted their lives to Grenache. Decades have passed where precious few valued their crop and yet they endured. That this remarkable vineyard has sustained is down to one man, Bernard Smart and this wine pays homage to this charming man.
From a near perfect vintage for the site, this wine displays muscular yet elegant silky black fruits couple with deep, rich, warming spices, hints of violet, mineral and black cherry.
97 Points James Suckling
95 Points The Wine Front
96 Points Halliday Wine Companion (Ned Goodwin MW) “10 GREAT REDS Sourced from a high-canopied plot of centurion bush vines, deep rooted and resilient. Hand harvested, fermented wild and plunged regularly in an open-top vessel, with 20% whole bunches. Pressed off to 300L oak (25% new). More muscular than its svelte Blewitt brethren. The fruit, warmer: kirsch, orange peel, tangerine and black cherry. Floral. More overt and impactful. Mineral force, over sandy and ethereal detail. But it makes me no less giddy!”
A remarkable site that has vines of 100 years old. The entire site, planted high in the picturesque Clarendon sub- region, is dry grown bush vines and has been farmed by the same family for 3 generations. This wine is sourced from one particular block where the canopy is raised slightly higher above the ground, allowing for better air circulation and increased radiated sunlight.
Hand picked on the 10th March and transported to the winery where 20% was retained as whole bunches to be placed on the base of a 2ton. open fermenter. Wild fermented and gently hand plunged twice a day during active fermentation. Pressed off to 300 litre hogsheads, of which 25% were new French oak.
Right across South Australia, the 2019 vintage will be remembered as a very challenging one. Very dry conditions persisted throughout the growing season while some areas also had to contend with frost, hail and wind – all of which reduced the crop but helped increase concentration and quality.