2013 Thistledown "Thorny Devil" Old Vine Grenache Barossa Valley South Australia (Elsewhere $25)
Wine & Spirits
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.
*Editors' Choice* This international venture based out of the former Nepenthe winery in the Adelaide Hills sources fruit from a number of vineyards in South Australia. This bottling is light on its feet for its 15% stated abv, showcasing fresh cherry fruit, gentle herbal notes and silky tannins. Drink now–2022. (JC)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pale garnet with a hint of purple, the 2013 Thorny Devil Grenache offers a tantalizing nose of kirsch, red plum preserves and raspberry coulis with nuances of baking spices and lavender. Unashamedly full, rich and packed with red berry and spice flavors, it has lovely silky tannins and great freshness throughout the long finish. (LPB)
Vivid and juicy, offering a mouthful of current, dried cherry and red raspberry flavors that are bold and bright, with a hint of orange peel and black tea on the finish. Drink now through 2022. (MW)
91 points Wine Front: "Poached strawberry, raspberry, mint and brown spices. It's silky and juicy, tempered by fine graphite tannin, even acidity and has a delicious succulence throughout. Has freshness and vitality, but most importantly, is really good to drink." Winemaker's notes: "With Grenache, we are always looking to maximise fruit purity, texture and finesse rather than making another rich red wine. While there is no denying that Grenache is more burly than Pinot, we always have the vision of making Pinot style wines within the, albeit, challenging framework of Grenache! The Fruit was gently crushed to retain as many whole berries as possible before a cold soak prior to fermentation. Fermentation began naturally and hand plunging twice a day was carried out through to dryness. Gently pressed off skins before 10 months in old oak hogsheads. The resulting wine has the characteristic Barossa punch but there is a beguiling texture and perfume that keeps you interested."