Rated 92 Points Wine & Spirits January 2016
"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."
We’ve bought fruit from this vineyard for a number of years and its a consistent performer even in the less good years. In 2013, this vineyard performed out of its skin and it was while we were in the vineyard that we came across a little lizardy fellow called a Thorny Devil. We liked the name and the fruit produced beautiful wine and so we decided that it was high enough quality to be bottled on its own.
An Englishman, an Irishman and an Australian of German descent….. at home in the Adelaide Hills, Thistledown make super premium wines from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek regions of South Australia. Drawing on strong Celtic links, the thistle provides an apt image for a producer that, for all the rugged exterior, makes wines that possess a delicacy, subtlety and beauty that counters the notion that bigger always equals better. Thistledown works directly with growers in the premium regions of South Australia to source fruit that has the potential to communicate its origins precisely while delivering polished, balanced, delicious wines of great personality. Established since 2010,Thistledown is developing a focus on individual terroir expressions of Grenache and Syrah – a passion borne of our love for the wines of Southern France and Spain. Whether it’s the deep, ironstone rich terra rossa of Marananga in the Barossa or the delightfully light, deep sands of Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale, we look to reflect the terroir by picking for optimal balance rather than power and by winemaking that is, wherever possible, hands off.