Aromatic, vibrant, and beautifully textured, the deeply colored 2019 Thistledown Gorgeous Grenache Old Vine Small Batch No. 1 (94 points – Wine Orbit, 92 points – The Wine Front) positively sings from the glass from the moment it is poured. Pure and juicy, this boldly flavored and nicely balanced Grenache offers a seductive nose of crushed strawberry, wild blackberry, and subtle spice tones. In the mouth, it explodes on the palate with forest berries, spice, and an invigorating, mouthwatering acidity. The sleek yet powerful 2019 Thistledown Gorgeous Grenache exhibits superb varietal character, beautiful balance, and a delightfully long finish. Afford this pure, meticulously crafted Grenache a few minutes of aeration before imbibing at 55°-60° F, and delight as it unfolds graciously in the glass. Enjoy!
The 2019 Thistledown Gorgeous Grenache Old Vine Small Batch No. 1 is a classy in-your-face kind of wine that begs for foods to match its outgoing character and personality. Consequently, we suggest any number of simple, honest, extroverted dishes with this dandy. Some of our favorite pairings with this youthful Grenache include everything from an aged prime New York Strip to a super Tex-Mex Chalupa served with homegrown green peppers and Monterrey Jack cheese. Three-Meat Meatloaf and an Herbe de Provence-Grilled Chicken Breast with rosemary fries earn two thumbs up, too. Stews, cassoulets with all kinds of beans, and hearty lentil dishes also provide tasty companions to Thistledown’s 2019 Gorgeous Grenache. And if you have a penchant for something more adventuresome, consider pairing a lightly chilled glass of Gorgeous Grenache with grilled Ahi Tuna on focaccia with an authentic Provençal aioli or herb mayonnaise. Bon Appétit.
What’s in a name? Plenty when it comes to Thistledown’s Gorgeous Grenache Old Vine Small Batch Handmade No. 1. What’s even more important in the case of this wine is what’s in the bottle – one big, gorgeous glass of wine.
Thistledown specializes in old vine Grenache, but not just any Grenache. Think Gigondas, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the very best Australia has to offer, and then you would be on the right track and we would be talking about Thistledown’s incredible portfolio of Gorgeous Old Vine Grenache wines.
Two Masters of Wine, Giles Cooke (MW) and Fergal Tynan (MW) are the driving force behind Thistledown and their winery’s elite portfolio of wines. With the help of renowned winemaker Peter Leske, they launched Thistledown in 2010. They hand-make small batches of wines from old vines that illustrate the unique benefits of great sites and intelligent winemaking. Specializing in fashioning tiny lots of wine from prized vineyards has earned Thistledown tremendous critical acclaim and high 90 point ratings from Wine Advocate, Decanter, James Halliday, James Suckling, and others. Although old vine Grenache has garnered the most attention, including the winery’s Gorgeous Grenache (this month’s feature), Thistledown is equally adept at fashioning incredible Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah.
Thistledown’s approach to Grenache makes it quite unique in Australia. Although Grenache is Australia’s most widely planted red variety and it figures significantly in Australia’s signature wine, GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre), Grenache is less often bottled as a single varietal and it takes second fiddle to Shiraz/Syrah throughout Australia. Thistledown’s use of severely pruned old vines, wild yeasts, extended whole bunch fermentation, aging in larger oak barrels, and no fining or filtration render the winery’s Gorgeous Grenache wines some of the finest in the land. They are vegetarian and vegan friendly, and downright delicious.
Grenache, whose origin is thought to be Aragon in northern Spain, is the most widely cultivated red varietal throughout the world. The wine’s propensity for vigor, drought resistance, high alcohol, and inherent ability to yield powerful, spicy, complex wines has made it a favorite in warm climates the world over. When judiciously pruned, it yields wines of extraordinary quality, especially in Spain’s Priorat, where it is known as Garnacha, and in neighboring France, including the Languedoc and the Rhône Valley where it shines in all the greatest wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and nearby Côtes de Rhône villages. It is also the most cultivated red grape in Australia where the country’s very old bush vines, many in excess of 100 years of age, furnish some of South Australia’s finest reds. Grenache also forms the basis for Australia’s signature GSM blend, perhaps the world’s most recognizable blend. California also enjoys a long history with Grenache where it plays an increasingly supporting role in the state’s finest Syrah wines.
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