Sporting a deep garnet color, alluring aromatics, and a vibrant core of fruit, the beautifully textured 2020 Thistledown Gorgeous Grenache Old Vine Small Batch No. 1 (91 Points – James Halliday) not only sings from the glass; it warrants serving as the poster child for Grenache. Pure and juicy, this boldly flavored, impeccably balanced Grenache seduces the nose and carries its alluring aromatics onto the palate, offering a welcome draught of wild strawberry, forest berries, and racy spice tones, all of which are backed up with an invigorating, mouthwatering acidity. The sleek yet powerful 2020 Thistledown Gorgeous Grenache exhibits superb varietal character, impeccable balance, and a delightfully long finish. Afford this pure, meticulously crafted Grenache a few minutes of aeration before serving cool (55°-60° F) to revel in its layered complexity as it unfolds graciously in the glass. Anticipated maturity: 2021-2026. Enjoy!
The 2020 Thistledown Gorgeous Grenache Old Vine Small Batch No. 1 is truly a classy, in your face wine that doesn’t have to beg for an accompaniment to match its outgoing character and personality because it’s a meal in itself. Yet, any number of simple, honest, extroverted dishes will only enhance your experience with this knock-out dandy. Some of our favorite pairings with Thistledown’s youthful 2020 Gorgeous 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 Herbes 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. And if you have a penchant for something more adventuresome, consider pairing a lightly chilled glass of this Gorgeous Grenache with Grilled Ahi Tuna on focaccia with an authentic Provençal aioli or herb mayonnaise, or Grilled Wild Caught Atlantic Salmon served with a bed of arugula, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and warm black French lentils beautifully dressed with a delicious balsamico. Bon Appétit.
Thistledown crushes Grenache, in every which way, all of if gorgeous. They specialize 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 will be talking about Thistledown’s Gorgeous Grenache wines. In short, Thistledown fashions an incredible portfolio of Gorgeous Old Vine Grenache wines, mostly from very old vines in South Australia known as “soldier blocks.” These blocks date back to World War I and World War II when the Australian government gifted land to returning soldiers to help them get back on their feet.
Two Masters of Wine, Giles Cooke and Fergal Tynan, 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, 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 plays 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 one of the most widely cultivated red varietals in 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 offerings.
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