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The aim at Thistledown is to make wines of great purity, precision and energy. Their fruit for this 2019 Thorny Devil Grenache comes from some of the best vineyard sites in McLaren Vale. They focus on picking the fruit on the way up, rather than the way down which allows them to couple concentration of flavor with balance and elegance. In the winery, it’s very much a low intervention, small-batch approach as befits high quality fruit, picked at the right time. Natural (wild) ferments, whole bunch inclusion, gentle or passive extraction followed by judicious use of oak and a few concrete eggs, which are used for their unique “layer cake” fermentations. In 2019, the fruit for Thorny Devil came from a variety of some of the finest and oldest vineyards in McLaren Vale. Old bush trained vines and sandy, mineral strewn vineyards ensure that this is amongst our most delicious Grenaches.
This has the characteristic McLaren Vale perfume and spice with bright cherries and raspberries. Good juicy fruit flavors and broad texture, with
savory, sweet tannins. Delicious drop!
93 pts Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com – “A very fragrant, aromatic style with attractive, fresh red flowers and sappy, bunchy raspberries and boysenberries. The palate has a very complete, supple and smooth-honed feel with a seamless build of finely layered tannins. Drink now. Screw cap.”
93 pts Halliday Wine Companion – “Fermented with 30% whole bunches, matured in French oak, the best barrels selected for this wine. A fragrant bouquet and fresh red fruit palate. Counterintuitively, significant tannins add a dimension to the juicy fruit.”
92 pts Gary Walsh, The Wine Front – “Seems to have moved from the Barossa to McLaren Vale in 2019. Ripe raspberry, brown spice, subtle earthiness. It’s ripe and spicy, ripples with tannin and raspberry ripple, a bit of meatiness and minty perfume, slightly saline, plump and juicy finish. Rock solid. Good
91 pts Huon Hooke, The Real Review – “Deep purple/red color, bright, the bouquet showing youthful dried banana estery notes as well as purple fruits – dark plum and dark cherry. It’s medium to full-bodied and firm in the mouth, with intensity and bold flavor that lingers on. It needs a little time and/or protein-rich food to soften it at this juncture.”