James Halliday

www.winecompanion.com.au

Bachelor's Block Shiraz, Ebenezer, 2015

94pts

 

"A natural yeast fermentation which included 40% whole bunches before spending 20 months in 300l French barrels were the recipe for this very well put together Barossa shiraz. Red and black fruits, some olive tapenade and with the whole bunch element nicely integrated, this concentrated, medium to full bodied wine is light on its feet at the same time"

 

Julia Harding MW

www.jancisrobinson.com

Suilven Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills 2015

17.5 pts

 

"This is an impressive barrel-fermented Chardonnay. Creamily delicious and super-fresh with pure clean citrus core and rich leesy texture. A paragon of barrel-fermented Chardonnay. Impressive depth and length without loss of freshness"

 

Huon Hooke

www.huonhooke.com

Vagabond Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale 2016

93pts

 

"Deep purple/red colour and the bold, super-ripe fruit-driven aroma of liqueur prune and blackberry fruit pastilles. It's also bright and bold in the mouth, and quite elegant, with lovely sweet fruit richness. Very much a fruit wine, honest and pleasing, with fruit bonbon characters and soft texture. Delish."

 

Huon Hooke

www.huonhooke.com

Thorny Devil Grenache, Barossa Valley, 2016

90pts

 

"Deep red/purple colour. The aromas are of dark fruits, plums, minty blackberries and a lick of spice. It's bright, bold and simple, the palate lean and sinewy, with lots of fine powdery tannins and good fruit concentration. Very nice grenache."

 

James Halliday

www.winecompanion.com.au

Thorny Devil Grenache 2016, Barossa Valley

94pts

 

"“Light, bright crimson; the inclusion of 9% grenache from McLaren Vale has worked very well, for there's a touch more structure and spine than many Barossa Valley grenaches at this price. The red fruits that are the heart and soul of this wine are delicious.”

 

James Halliday

www.winecompanion.com.au

Cunning Plan Shiraz 2016, Langhorne Creek

94pts

 

"“The youthful colour has the depth to promise abundant black fruits, whole berry fermentation underlining the promise. It has the succulence of Langhorne Creek, but with a raft of flowery/spicy notes not so common in the region. Mocha oak adds another dimension, cuddling up to the plump tannins. Hedonistic? You bet.”

 

James Halliday

www.winecompanion.com.au

Vagabond, Blewitt Springs Grenache 2016, McLaren Vale

94pts

 

"Although the alcohol is the same, this has more power, depth and drive than its Barossa Valley counterpart, which momentarily suggests higher alcohol. It's not, but it certainly needs more time, and will repay the patient in spades”

 

International Wine Challenge

The Basket Case Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2014

Gold

 

International Wine Challenge

The Cunning Plan Shiraz, Langhorne Creek 2015

Silver

 

International Wine Challenge

The Unforgettable Grenache Shiraz Mataro, Langhorne Creek 2016

Silver

 

International Wine Challenge

The Pugilist Cabernet Sauvignon, Langhorne Creek 2016

Silver

 

International Wine Challenge 2017

The Thorny Devil Grenache 2015

Silver Medal

 

Campbell Mattinson

www.winefront.com.au

Vagabond, Blewitt Springs Grenache 2016, McLaren Vale

92+pts

 

"Blewitt Springs. McLaren Vale. Old Vine Grenache. It’s a thing. A good thing.

It’s perfumed, it’s ferrous, it’s fleshy but not at the expense of a certain sinewy authority. This is an excellent grenache. Delicate in some ways and certainly light, but complex and earthen, almost ‘ethereal’. All it needs is another couple of years in a cool, dark place."

 

Campbell Mattinson

www.winefront.com.au

Thorny Devil Grenache 2016, Barossa Valley

91pts

 

"Maybe the fruit flavour is a little sweet – we’re into black jellybean and raspberry territory here – but the inlay of spice and gentle infusion of clovey oak is really quite beguiling. Add a general earthiness, excellent flow, and a convincing finish and you have yourself a most attractive wine."

 

Huon Hooke

www.huonhooke.com

Bachelor's Block, Ebenezer Shiraz 2015, Barossa Valley

91pts

 

"Deep red colour with a good purple tint. The bouquet is sweetly ripe berry fruits, with a subtle earthy and sooty overtone. It's soft and rounded with a glycerol-like sweetness and slipperiness. It's full-bodied and smooth-textured, fairly straightforward but has time on its side. The tannins are gentle and supple. Lovely sweet core of fruit, soft enough to enjoy young - but it will also reward cellaring."

 

Huon Hooke

www.huonhooke.com

Cunnng Plan Shiraz, Langhorne Creek 2016

90pts

 

"Deep, glass-staining purple/red colour and a fresh, clean, ripe and attractive berry-like fruit aroma, which is not overly simplistic. The wine is full in the mouth and soft, rounded and rich, with lashings of black pepper, spices and red berries to taste. Just a whisker of bitterness, which is OK. A stylish wine."

 

Wine Spectator, USA

MaryAnn Worobiec

The Courtesan Riesling 2016, Clare Valley

90pts

 

"Mouthwatering, with an intensely juicy backbone to the grapefruit, lime and pineapple flavors, mingling on the long finish"

 

Tony Keys

www.thekeyreport.com.au

The Vagabond Grenache 2015, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale

95pts

 

"Raspberries and other red berries come to mind on the nose and it’s pure velvet across the palate. More interesting flavours and perfume show themselves on the return journey. A very fine wine indeed"

 

Tony Keys

www.thekeyreport.com.au

The Great Escape Chardonnay 2014, Adelaide Hills

92pts

 

"Classic chardonnay on the nose, maybe with a hint of nectarine, or unripe peach (couldn’t pin it) tight structure all across the palate as if the wine was tense, it could do with loosening up a little, I found it better at the table where food seemed to fill the wine out"

 

Tony Keys

www.thekeyreport.com.au

The Great Escape Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills

93pts

 

 

Tony Keys

www.thekeyreport.com.au

The Thorny Devil Grenache 2015, Barossa Valley

93pts

 

"A plumper wine than the McLaren Vale grenache, it’s rounder on the journey with flavours not as defined. But I am nit-picking. The better review is from the post-tasting glass with snack: I enjoyed that very much and it accompanied a simple supermarket pâté very well"

 

Tony Keys

www.thekeyreport.com.au

Suilven Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills

93pts+

 

"A most intriguing nose that changed from fruit notes to slightly feral and back to fruit, being safe I will stick with complex. That’s complex good not complex poor. A wide spectrum of flavour across the palate but still holding back, there is more to come from this wine and the structure is there to support it ageing. I’m on the mean side pointing it at 93 but feel two if not three or four more points to come within the next three years, it might appear pricy at $70, but I’ve paid three times that price for a Burgundy not as good"

 

Campbell Mattinson

www.winefront.com.au

Bachelor's Block Shiraz 2015, Ebenezer

93+pts

 

"Bachelor of Bachelor’s, it’s a beauty. Barossa shiraz in full strut. Coal-like, earthen, blackberried, coffeed. Drenched in dark fruit, clipped by smoky oak and that savoury/earthen/brooding character the best Barossa shiraz often boasts. Tannin helps pull the flavours out through the finish. There’s a warmth here but it’s not distracting, or intrusive. Quality here is ‘up there’.

 

Campbell Mattinson

www.winefront.com.au

The Unforgettable GSM 2016, Langhorne Creek

90pts

 

"Give this time to breathe and it opens up nicely. It’s firm and slightly salty but well fruited. Dry in style. Black cherry and boysenberry with saltbush and dried spices. Mid-weight. Drinks well now but will hold and mature over the medium term as a minimum. Tannin feels ribbed, in a positive way. Balance is exemplary. It’s svelte but dry. There’s pleasure to be had here."

 

James Halliday

Wine Companion 2017

Thorny Devil Old Vine Grenache 2015, Barossa Valley

93pts

 

"The mid-palate bursts with raspberried sweetness, pure and exuberant. Outriders of earth, crushed dry spices and licorice add both complexity and breadth. In the end, it cuts a fine figure"

 

James Halliday

Wine Companion 2017

The Vagabond Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale 2015

92pts

 

"Red berried fruits, bright and lively, swoosh through the palate, engaging as they go. It's not complex but it's effective. Dry spice, florals and swirls of anise take the idea and run with it. It's not heavy but it's insistent."

 

Wine Spectator, USA

MaryAnn Worobiec

The Thorny Devil Grenache 2015

90pts

"An elegant, juicy mix of raspberry, cherry and pomegranate flavors that are pure and bright, with details of fresh earth, pepper, citrus peel and spice. Drink now through 2026." 

 

 

Wines & Spirits Magazine, USA

The Pugilist Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Langhorne Creek

89pts

 

Wines & Spirits Magazine, USA

Cunning Plan Shiraz 2015, Langhorne Creek

90pts

 

Wines & Spirits Magazine, USA

Basket Case Shiraz 2014, Barossa Valley

92pts

 

Wines & Spirits Magazine, USA

Thorny Devil Grenache 2015, Barossa Valley

92pts

 

Julia Harding MW

jancisrobinson.com

Suilven Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills

17pts

Definite vanilla note initially here, plus lightly spicy and oatmeal aromas of restrained oak. Fuller bodied than I expected on the palate, striking an excellent balance of freshness and full spicy citrus flavour. Well sustained, juicy and lively. (JH)

 

Gary Walsh

The Winefront

Thorny Devil Grenache 2015, Barossa Valley

93pts

www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-thorny-devil-old-vine-single-vineyard-grenache-2015/

 

"I can’t recall where the old vine single vineyard is, but let’s just assume it’s somewhere nice.

Spice with a distinct top note of shrubbery and stalk, some floral notes, juicy cherry and raspberry flavour. Medium bodied, attractive grainy tannin and balanced acidity keeps it all trim, and the finish is firm, long and punctuated with a pleasant twist of stalkiness. Certainly has some of that Pinot Noir of the Barossa about it, which is nice"

 

 

Gary Walsh

The Winefront

Vagabond Grenache 2015, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale

92pts

http://www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-the-vagabond-grenache-2015/

 

"From a seventy something year old vineyard in Blewitt Springs.

Red liquorice, red berries and spice, a little rose oil. Plump lush red berry flavour, fine silty tannin, a nice whack of spice and a satisfying finish. Lots to grab onto here, and very easy to enjoy"

 

 

 

Josh Greene

Wine & Spirit Magazine, U.S

The Opportunist Shiraz 2015, Langhorne Creek

91pts

Best Buy

 

" Light and just luscious enough to surround all its of its spicy, cumin-edged acidity in sour cherry and plum-pit flavors, as cool as "a forest floor"

 

Tony Keys

Great Escape Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills

93pts

http://thekeyreport.com.au/roll-the-dice-when-picking-a-chardonnay-to-drink/

 

"A gentle start that builds as it travels. “Crisp” was the word that came to mind. 93 points and good value at $25"

 

 

Tim Atkin MW

Suilven Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills

93pts

timatkin.com

 

"One of those wines that tastes every bit as good as it looks, this Scottish/Australian collaboration eschews the leaner, reductive, early picked style that's favoured by some winemakers Down Under in favour of something a little more substantial and textured. Deftly oaked, oatmealy and refreshing, with a focus and minerality that wouldn't look out of place in the Côte de Beaune"

 

 

Richard Hemming MW

Suilven Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills

17pts

www.jancisrobinson.com

 

"Classic modern Aussie Chardonnay - tight and focused but with generous oak and an element of restraint to the citrus fruit. Long, expressive finish. Lovely leesy texture"

 

 

China  WINE100 年度中国酒庄

Basket Case Shiraz 2013, Barossa Valley

95pts

Gold Medal

 

 

Jamie Goode

Suilven Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills

93pts

http://www.wineanorak.com/wineblog/

 

" Very fine and expressive with nice pure citrus fruit (lemon and tangerine), and more than a bit of finesse. Bright, focused, pure and elegant with real drive. It's currently showing some spicy, cedary oak notes, but it's sophisticated, linear Chardonnay with massive potential for development. 93/100"

 

 

Wine Enthusiast USA

Joe Czerwinski

Thorny Devil Grenache 2013

92pts Editor's Choice

 

"This bottling is light on its feet for its 15% stated abv, showcasing fresh cherry fruit, gentle herbal notes and silky tannins. Drink now-2022"

 

Wine Enthusiast USA

Joe Czerwinski

Vagabond Grenache 2013

90pts

 

"Just tiny amounts of this wine (25 c/s) are available in the U.S market, but it represents a trend in Australia of celebrating old-vine Grenache. A blend of two parcels from the Blewitt Springs and Seaview subregions, this is silky in texture, with crisp red cherries shot through with herbal streaks..."

 

The Wine Front

Gary Walsh

Suilven Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills

94pts

http://www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-suilven-chardonnay-2015-2/

 

" Subdued pristine style. Cool white fruit, cucumber, fennel, almond and light spiced oak. Pure acidity, white peach and oatmeal, clean long finish with a strike of flintiness to the texture. Much to like here; whispers persuasively rather than shouts"

 

 

 

 

The Wine Front

Gary Walsh

Vagabond Grenache 2014, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale

93pts

http://www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-the-vagabond-grenache-2014/

 

From a vineyard in Blewitt Springs, with a vine age of something like 70 years. Realised I should have reviewed these some time ago (promises, promises) and went on a mad hunt under the house for it. Some spiders (one dead, one alive), a few mozzies, and a bumpred head later...triumph!

Raspberry frogs, dried roses, aniseed and spice. Medium bodied, juicy and packed with red fruits, light glycerol texture and fine powdery tannin, clean cut of acidity, and a long silk finish strapped up with a little new leather. Succulent and lively at once. Tasty stuff.

 

 

The Wine Front

Gary Walsh

Thorny Devil Barossa Grenache 2014

92pts

www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-thorny-devil-old-vine-single-vineyard-grenache-2014/

 

Interesting tasting, and looking at, this wine alongside its McLaren Vale chum (The Vagabond). Quite the contrast, not least in colour, where this wine has a browning tinge, whereas the McLaren Vale wine is lively cherry red.

A more spicy, savoury expression of Grenache, and while it does have some pretty florals, it's more earthen and red fruited rather than confected. Medium bodied, almost delicate, with a gentle rasp of tannin, even acidity, and a long spicy finish. It's right in the zone for drinking now. Heaps of charm and drinking appeal.

 

 

The Wine Spectator

Thorny Devil Grenache 2013

90pts

http://www.winespectator.com/wine/detail/source/search/note_id/407719

 

Vivid and juicy, offering a mouthful of current, dried cherry and red raspberry flavors that are bold and bright, with a hint of orange peel and black tea on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 200 cases imported.

 

 

The Road Less Travelled

 

February witnesses the launch of our 2015 Two Roads Chardonnay, a wine inspired by the Robert Frost poem "The Road not Taken"

 

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference."

 

In every life there are key moments that can have a profound impact on your future. For the winemaker, with only about 40 harvests to get things right, this is especially true. Every vintage brings with it decisions that profoundly impact the quality and style of the wine that will be enjoyed over the following years and one cannot help but ponder how things would have turned out if only we'd done this or that. What would have happened if we ventured down the road less travelled?

 

Well, with Chardonnay in 2015, we had the luxury of venturing down two roads. Our first journey involved the intense, mineral laden, tangy,character that forms the backbone of our soon-to-be-launched Suilven Chardonnay 2015. Our 2nd journey, took us down a more decadent path, a path laced with ripe apricots and peaches, hints of hazelnut, brioche and spiced butter. This barrel selection, which relies on wonderful hand-picked fruit, wild ferments and regular battonage in French oak, resulted in Two Roads Chardonnay. 

 

We travelled the road less travelled and it did indeed make all the difference.

 

RSP $40 per bottle

 

 

 

Wine Selectors Magazine, Australia

The Vagabond Grenache, Blewitt Springs 2014

Gold Medal

"A deliciously luscious and supple wine, this Grenache opens with vibrant, dark cherry red and earthy dark berry fruit, bramble and complex floral  notes on the nose. The palate has juicy layers of plum and black cherry fruit with supple candied confectionary varietals. The tannins are super soft and velvety with mouth-watering acidity driving a long finish. An absolutely beautiful Grenache awarded Gold by all panel members.

 

Wine & Spirit Magazine USA

The Thorny Devil Grenache, Barossa 2013

92pts

"Two MWs - Giles Cooke and Fergal Tynan - founded this Adelaide Hills winery n 2010, joining forces with winemaker Peter Leske of Revenir. This is their first vintage of the Thorny Devil, from an old-vine, dry-grown vineyard in Barossa, which they ferment as mostly whole berries without added yeast, then age in old oak barrels. It's a wine with serious structure, the tarry tannins carrying fresh cherry and cranberry flavors without any sense of excess alcohol. There's old-vine complexity in the finish, which lasts, clean and savory."

 

James Suckling

The Vagabond, Blewitt Springs Grenache 2014

92pts

http://www.jamessuckling.com/wine-tasting-notes/thistledown-grenache-mclaren-vale-blewitt-springs/47626/

 

James Suckling

Great Escape Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2014

90pts

http://www.jamessuckling.com/wine-tasting-notes/thistledown-chardonnay-adelaide-hills-/47625/

 

Jancis Robinson MW

The Thorny Devil Barossa Grenache 2014

17pts

http://www.jancisrobinson.com/tastings/search?keywords=thistledown&query_field=title_t-country_t-region-t

 

Pale cherry red. Light, sweet, delicate nose - really quite perfumed - and also very delicate on the palate. This certainly doesn't taste anything like a 15 per cent-er. Very beautiful texture and freshness. Entertaining fruit and very succulent. No jamminess. Bravo! Really super charming with raspberry fruit and just a hint of something medicinal to give it interest. Maybe Barossa has something to teach Chateauneuf?

 

 

Jamie Goode

The Thorny Devil Barossa Grenache 2014

92 pts

www.wineanorak.com/wineblog/

 

"From the southern edge of the valley, this is highly aromatic with floral red cherry fruit and a lush, liqueur-like raspberry fruit quality. Supple and smooth in the mouth with bright frsh red cherry fruit. This is a bit Pinot-like, but has a grippy, spicy edge. Such a pretty expression of Grenache."

 

The Road Less Travelled

 

November witnesses the launch of our 2014 Two Roads Shiraz, a wine inspired by the Robert Frost poem "The Road not Taken"

 

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference."

 

In every life there are key moments that can have a profound impact on your future. For the winemaker, with only about 40 harvests to get things right, this is especially true. Every vintage brings with it decisions that profoundly impact the quality and style of the wine that will be enjoyed over the following years and one cannot help but ponder how things would have turned out if only we'd done this or that. What would have happened if we ventured down the road less travelled?

 

Well, in 2014, we had the luxury of venturing down two roads. Our first journey involved the black, crunchy, dense fruit of Ebenezer and Koonunga Hill in the Barossa Valley and this ended in us bottling The Basket Case 2014. Our 2nd journey, took us down an unfamiliar path. 125 year old vines faithfully grown in the Moppa sub-region, splashes of fruit from Ebenezer and lush, textured fruit from the more southerly subregions of the Barossa. After 17 months in the finest French oak, with the merest seasoning of American, the result is an immensely polished, glossy red with rich, succulent smoky black fruit character and a long, memorable finish.

 

We travelled the road less travelled and it did indeed make all the difference.

 

RSP $45 per bottle

 

 

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW

The Vagabond Grenache, McLaren Vale Grenache 2014

90pts

www.erobertparker.com

 

"Pale ruby/purple, the 2014 The Vagabond Grenache has an intense red currant, red cherry and black raspberry nose with nuances of anise and violets. Full-bodied, rich and expressive, the velvety palate is loaded with fruit and has a very long, spicy finish"

 

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW

The Vagabond Grenache, McLaren Vale 2013

89pts

www.erobertparker.com

 

"Pale ruby/purple, the 2013 The Vagabond Grenache opens to a pretty kirsch, rose petal and cinnamon stick and dusty earth nose. Full-bodied, soft and silky in the mouth, it has tons of spicy, red berry preserves flavors and a long finish"

 

 

Gary Walsh

The Wine Front

The Great Escape Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2014

91pts

 

" Steve McQueen on a motorbike, roaring through the Adelaide Hills?

Whaite peach, preserved lemon, cucumber dusted with white pepper and spice. Light bodied, spicy white fruit flavours, a bit of citrus, chalky powdery texture and a tight finish with some attractive bitterness. It's got flavour, but its very much a cooler expression of Chardonnay. Good to drink"

 

 

 

Huon Hooke

The Vagabond McLaren Vale Grenache 2013

89pts

http://huonhooke.com

 

"Medium red/purple colour. Dried herb, nettley aromas, savoury and non-fruity, with a note of Kiwi shoe-polish! It's medium-bodied at best, with a tight, firm palate structure, nice balance and good length. The high alcohol doesn't show"

 

 

James Halliday

Basket Case Barossa Valley Shiraz 2013

91pts

www.winecompanion.com.au/wineries/south-australia/south-australia/thistledown-wines

 

"Good hue; there's plenty happening on the medium to full-bodied palate, which has some dark

chocolate nuances more commonly found in McLaren Vale, but give the wine a
certain gravitas; the savoury fruits of the medium-bodied palate have ample length
and good balance."

 

James Halliday

Basket Case Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012

91pts

www.winecompanion.com.au/wineries/south-australia/south-australia/thistledown-wines

 

"Points for smoothness and for integration of fruit and oak. It tastes of dark, toasty plums, licorice and choc mint though what you notice most, perhaps, is the smoothness of the ride."

 

James Halliday

Vagabond, McLaren Vale Grenache 2013

89pts

www.winecompanion.com.au/wineries/south-australia/south-australia/thistledown-wines

 

"From Blewitt Springs (70yo vines) and Seaview (40yo vines), each vineyard vinified separately, Blewitt Springs cold-soaked 5 days and open-fermented, matured in French hogsheads (20%new); Seaview similar except 5% whole bunches. A barrel selection after 5 months and blended, Blewitt Springs dominant. Light, bright crimson, the wine is built
around red fruits with a contrasting twist of acidity on the finish."

 

 

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW

Thorny Devil Grenache 2013

90pts

www.erobertparker.com

 

"Pale garnet with a hint of purple, the 2013 Thorny Devil Grenache offers a tantalizing nose of kirsch, red plum preserves and raspberry coulis with nuances of baking spices and lavender. Unashamedly full, rich and packed with red berry and spice flavors, it has lovely silky tannins and great freshness throughout the long finish"

 

 

Huon Hooke

Thorny Devil Grenache 2013

90 pts 4 stars

http://huonhooke.com/

 

"Deepish red/purple: a bright, youthful colour. Meaty, charcuterie and dark cherry aromas plus a lick of spice tumble from the glass. In the mouth, its softly textured and medium-bodied and finishes with a touch of bitterness. A very pleasant wine, glycerol-textured and smooth, the bitterness would be easily mopped up by food"

.

 

Huon Hooke

The Cunning Plan Shiraz 2013

89 pts 3.5 stars

http://huonhooke.com/

 

Deep red/purple colour and a herbal, floral lifted aroma which seems to refect some less-ripe grapes. There are violet-like floral notes. It’s attractively aromatic. The palate is lean and nervy, medium-bodied and firm, with a little aggression in the grip. Good wine; even better with food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Wine Challenge 2015

The Great Escape Chardonnay 2013

Silver Medal 

 

Nicolas Clerc MS

Sommelier Wine Awards, UK

The Basket Case Shiraz 2012

Silver Medal

 

"Balanced and elegant, with nice oak and zesty acidity. Ripe and rich, with a mature nose of spices and herbs, leading to a distinguished balanced palate, medium body and powdery tannins"

 

Gary Walsh

The Wine Front

The Vagabond Grenache 2013

93pts

http://www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-the-vagabond-grenache-2013/#.VQqVH47kelZ

 

"aromatic and floral with a smell that puts me in mind of lemon iced tea, which thankfully is a drink I really love. Raspberry and strawberry, sweet spices, rubbed mint and maybe other things too, real or imagined. Medium bodied, fresh and shapely, with crunchy red fruits studded with spice, fne grained kitten's tongue tannin, and a slip of dried herb coming through on a pretty good finish. Effortless drinking"

 

 

Gary Walsh

The Wine Front

The Thorny Devil Grenache 2013

91pts

http://www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-thorny-devil-old-vine-single-vineyard-grenache-2013/#.VQrOZY7kelY

 

"Poached strawberry, rapberry, mint and brown spices. It's silky and juicy, tempered by fine graphite tannin, even acidity and has a delicious succulence throughout. Has freshness and vitality, but most importantly, is really good to drink"

 

Winsor Dobbin

The Basket Case 2013

http://winsorschoice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/thistledown-2013-basket-case-shiraz.html

 

"There is all the power and persistence you would expect from a young Barossa shiraz here, but also with a little elegance and swagger. There's the intense aromas and dark black fruit notes you would anticipate, but also a plush , relaxed attitude, perhaps due to the use of an old-style basket press in the winery. There are also some spicy elements in the background of this layered, textural wine and overall this is more a smart and savvy middleweight than some of the region's heavyweights. It would be superb matchd with lamb cutlets and short crust vegetable tarts. Lovely stuff"

 

 

Vintage 2015 Update

 

The 2015 vintage may well be characterised as "compressed" by which we mean that almost everything ripened at the same time. However, though there was a mad 3 weeks from mid February, this only tells half the story.

 

It's always difficult to generalise, but we work in the regions surrounding Adelaide and it is possible to make some general observations. The season began well with good winter rains followed by a dry spring which resulted in consistently good fruit set - a blessed relief for growers in the hills after the very poor fruit set of '14. The Barossa suffered a bad frost in October, a year to the day after the black frost of the previous year.

 

November and December were cool and this pattern was only briefly punctuated by a burst of heat over the New Year period which had people thinking back the the 14 days of plus 40 heat last year. Thankfully, January continued with cooler weather, some 2 degrees cooler than normal. Predictions at this time seemed to suggest a normal or even late harvest.

 

Mother nature has a way of making fools of all of us and what followed in February was extraordinary. Steady, though not extreme, heat saw ripening accelerate to the extent that by the middle of February, there was a mad rush to harvest fruit right across the Barossa and McLaren Vale. With every winery full and fruit ready to go, there were more than a few stressed winemakers and grape growers. Even Grenache, normally picked in April, came in by the end of February!

 

With Barossa Shiraz, Adelaide Hills Chard', McLaren Vale Grenache and some Langhorne Creek Shiraz safely in the winery, the promise of this rather frantic vintage looks rather good. With great colour on reds and near perfect analysis on Chardonnay, we're confident that 2015 will turn out to be a superb vintage.

 

Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh

The Wine Front, February 2015

The Basket Case Shiraz 2013

http://www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-the-basket-case-old-vine-shiraz-2013/

 

"The 2012 was pretty good, and I think that this is better again.

Quite spicy for a Barossa wine - brown spices to be specific, raspberry, some licorice and malt, wood well in the background. Medium bodied, dry and crunchy feel with a nice spread of fleshy tannin, red and black fruit and savoury flavours. Has a bit if finesse and perfume about it, but still speaks of region and variety"

92pts

 

Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh

The Wine Front, January 2015

The Basket Case Shiraz 2012

http://www.winefront.com.au/thistledown-the-basket-case-old-vine-shiraz-2012/#.VNscMPmsVv8

 

"Raspberry pie, brown spices, boysenberry and subtle sawn wood perfume. It's medium bodied and pretty perky with an almost apple tang to the acidity, gently chalky tannin and juicy mixed berries and spice on the finish. Feels earlier picked for freshness and perfume, which is no bad thing."

 

 

 

 

Decanter World Wine Awards 2014

The Basket Case Shiraz 2012

Silver Medal

 

"Wonderful ripe red fruits and black pepper layered with mint and chocolate. A plump and succulent palate with a gorgeous lift of acidity and complex tannins followed by a very long and spicy finish"

 

 

Sarah Ahmed

The Wine Detective January 2015

http://thewinedetective.co.uk/blog/australia/first-taste-thistledown-vagabond-thorny-devil-grenache-2013

 

" Following my great Grenache round up last October, Giles Cooke MW dropped me a line to suggest I take a look at Thistledown Grenache....though both share the variety's characterisitic high alcohol, it's worn lightly thanks to a remarkable freshness and levity which allows the details/terroir of each Grenache to shine.

 

Thistledown The Vagabond Grenache 2013

 

" Bright translucent cherry red with a floral, spicy nose and palate. Its crunchy sour red cherry/plum and earthier wild raspberry fruit is laced with sweet , lingering cinnamon and cedar spice, violets and almond -edged kirsch. With lovely animation and freshness from tip to toe there's no glycerol drag. A very good example of a medium bodied Greanche with fine detail"

 

Thistledown Thorny Devil Grenache 2013

 

" This deep ruby red has bigger bones. Relatively ample red cherry and berry fruit flesh them out, as does gently creamy vanilla oak. If that was all, it would be well made but not especially interesting. Layers of savoury spice (liquorice), medicinal (coltsfoot), hardpan earth, a touch of frangipane even, rescue it from this fate, as does a firm finish with attractive freshness. Very good."

 

Tim Atkin

http://www.timatkin.com/reviews?&q=thistledown

 

Thorny Devil Grenache 2013

90 pts

 

"Juicy, easy drinking Barossa Grenache that carries its alcohol lightly. The oak is well handled here on this wine overseen by Masters of Wine, Giles Cooke and Fergal Tynan. Raspberry and wild strawberry fruit, a touch of oak and a ripe, satisfying finish. Try it chilled for maximum pleasure."

 

 

 

Rose Murray Brown MW

The Scotsman

11th October 2014

 

"Australian show-stoppers a thing of the past"

 

The Vagabond Grenache 2013

 

"A more serious effort as you would expect from the price. A blend of McLaren Vale fruit: Seaview and bush vines from Blewitt Springs grown on limestone and ironstone. Violet perfume notes, deep dense mouthfilling fruit with an interesting savoury edge deriving from whole bunch fermentation, this is chunky but with a soft, silky finish. It should mellow even further in the bottle"

 

To read the full article on Thistledown, please click the link below

 

http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/food-drink/features/wine-australian-show-stoppers-a-thing-of-the-past-1-3570179ew text box 

 

Brian Elliot on Wine

The Scotsman

 

Vagabond Grenache Tempranillo 2011

 

"Further up the ladder comes the beautifully balanced 2011 Thistledown The Vagabond Grenache Tempranillo. It demonstrates the high quality of South Australian grenache, with its firm red fruit flavours and a warm, savoury, white pepper finish"

 

http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/brian-elliot-on-wine-there-are-some-real-jewels-in-unexpected-places-1-2477381

 

 

 

 

 

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