Thistledown Sands of Time Old Vine Grenache 2018
Early on in our Grenache journey, we were introduced to Sue Trott’s Home Block in the Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale.
A wine of immense purity and power that is both light and intense at the same time. Highly aromatic with notes of sandalwood, dried orange, violets and wood spice on the nose, it follows through to a palate that is paradoxically elegant and vibrant but concentrated and persistent. Silky smooth with a glossy, hightly attractive palate of wild strawberry, violets and the merest hint of cinnamon and woodsmoke. Achingly beautiful but deliciously drinkable all at once.
Winner, Top Gold, 97 Points James Halliday Grenache Challenge 2019
95 Points James Halliday
96 Points Sarah Ahmed
95 Points The Wine Front
95 Points Huon Hooke
94 Points James Suckling
93 Points The Wine Advocate
Sourced from one 75 year old vineyard, the bush trained vines on pure sand. It’s beautiful aspect, raised elevation and free-draining deep sandy soils are the perfect spot for dry-grown bush-vine Grenache and we were so lucky to be offered the opportunity to purchase a little fruit.
Hand-picked, on the way up, we vinify naturally in concrete and place whole bunches alternately with destemmed fruit to create a layer cake. A very gentle, slow fermentation is followed by maturation in oak and concrete before a careful selection is done, which is then bottled unfined and unfiltered 10 months later.
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.