Founders Giles Cooke, MW and Fergal Tynan, MW started Thistledown in 2010, having met years earlier in their Master of Wine (MW) program. With their deep understanding of wine, they sought to make the "pure and precise" Grenache and Shiraz they knew to be possible in the famous McLaren Vale and the Barossa wine regions. The vineyards they source are older, and their fermentations occur spontaneously; they include some whole clusters, which contribute to some of the savor and spice, as well as that boost in aromatic expressiveness we love. To preserve the integrity of the wines, they don't undergo fining (so they're also vegan).
This has the vibrancy and relative firmness typical of McLaren Vale, which balances out Grenache's tendency toward soft, high-alcohol wines. It comes from classic Grenache farming: old vines that are bush-trained and without irrigation. Aged 10 months in French oak hogsheads.
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Aromas of savory spice, hung deli meat and blood fill the senses, but it is in the mouth where the purity and succulence of the fruit is revealed. This 2021 Thorny Devil Grenache is long and savory, sweet and fine, built into a framework of pliable tannin and exotic spice. Balanced and exciting."