Thistledown Sands of Time Grenache 2021

Tasting Notes

A faithful expression of the site – beautiful, haunting aromatics, fine sandy tannins and
wonderful, memorable length on the palate.

Winery: Thistledown
Varietal: Grenache
SKU: THISANGRE2021 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Thistledown Sands of Time Grenache 2021



97+ points – The Wine Advocate July 2022

Hooley dooley. Good. This 2021 Sands of Time Old Vine Single Vineyard Grenache shows Grenache in its best light; when the fruit is buoyant, succulent, airy and spicy, but also when it has been compressed and screwed down into place by gossamer fine tannins. This is tight yet expansive, classy yet exciting: a wine of amalgums and complexity. So what does it taste like? First, raspberry leaf tea, red licorice, berry coulis… then blood, ferrous and iodine seep into the edges and drag with them licorice, pink peppercorn, hung deli meat and a whiff of blackberry pie. It finishes slender, with graphite and quartz. The cooler year has exposed a fine framework of ripe, whippy tannins, which hold the fruit in place—ever-present yet invisible. What a wine.

96 points – The Vintage Journal (Andrew Caillard MW)
95 points – The Wine Front
94 points – James Halliday

Winemaker Notes

Early on in our Grenache journey, we were introduced to Sue Trott’s Home Block in the Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale. 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. Some years on and we have learned a little about the site and refined our picking decisions and vinification to the extent that from 2017 we were content that we could do the site justice by bottling separately.

Vintage Conditions: 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.

Winemaking: Hand-picked, on the way up, we vinify naturally in concrete and place whole bunches alternately with de-stemmed 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.

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