Thistledown This Charming Man Grenache 2021
This wine displays muscular yet elegant silky black fruits couple with deep, rich, warming spices, hints of violet, mineral and black cherry
96+ points Wine Advocate
95 points Ned Goodwin MW – “Pickled cherry, ume, lavender, rhubarb and poached plum. A waft of menthol, too, but nothing intrusive. The Smart vineyard is high and cool. Characterful, while pushing the svelte tannic line of grit and paradoxical elegance that mark the region’s finest wines. All, let’s face it, grenache. This is stellar. It grows in stature as it unravels and beams clove, white pepper and violet across a brilliant finish of real pizazz.”
96 points – The Wine Front
95 points – Wine Companion
95 points – The Vintage Journal (Andrew Caillard MW)
94 points – James Halliday
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
Rare is the vintage that combines good yields and high quality but 2021 was just that. A remarkable vintage in that it was once again pandemic affected but that it was measured and mild with none of the heat spikes or drought conditions of recent years. With good levels of winter rains filling soil profiles, the mild weather with intermittent
rains throughout the growing and ripening season ensured that fruit ripened over a long period of time and the vintage was one of the longest in recent history. The results are spectacular, healthy fruit, moderate sugars and complex flavours, have resulted in wines of beautiful balance, fragrance and varietal typicity.
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. The fruit was hand-picked on 18th March.
Hand-picked fruit was 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.