Thistledown “The Charming Man” Old Vine Grenache 2018
“The Charming Man” Old Vine Grenache
Bernard Smart og hans familie har passet en vinmark i 100 år. Grenache plantet lige efter første verdenskrig gror som små buske med bittesmå druer pakket med vanvittig smag. 2018 var en gylden årgang, varm og tør med perfekt modenhed. Dybmørk silkefrugt møder skønne aromaer af brombær, kirsebær, stjerneanis og udpræget mineralitet.
Thistledown er ikke bare endnu et vinhus. Det er som at finde ud af, at to mekanikere har gået i en garage og puslet med en bil, der kan køre fra Ferrari. Med andre ord (kunst)håndværk i den helt vilde mesterklasse. Håndplukket og håndlavet af de allerbedste druer, vildgæret i hele klaser og uden industrielle tilsætninger. To Masters of Wine, Giles og Fergal, står for driften og de styrer benhårdt efter friskhed, terroir og good old Aussie juiciness. Vinene er ikke i hverdagsprislejet, men stadig regulære kup i deres liga.
95 points DecanterFrom a 71-year-old block of Smart Vineyard, Clarendon, at 260m on clay loam, quartz and ironstone. Beautiful saturation of slinky, fleshy red cherry fruit, with almond-edged cherry close to the stone, dried herbs and roses (Turkish Delight) and intriguing crushed oyster shell and graphite nuances. Undertones of sandalwood and earth lend savouriness. Long, very lithe, with silky tannins. Aged 12 months in French oak hogsheads (25% new)
94 points James SucklingA very vibrant nose with raspberry, boysenberry, red-plum and red-licorice aromas that lead to a quite fleshy, round and flavor-filled palate that finishes long and creamy. Drink or hold.
92 points Robert ParkerThistledown’s 2018 The Charming Man Single Vineyard Grenache hails from Clarendon. From a vineyard planted in 1971 on iron stone and clay, this medium to full-bodied wine offers cedary notes (it was aged in one-fifth new oak) layered over black cherries. It’s taut and firm, framed by fine-grained tannins, so give it until 2021, then drink it over the next 10 years.
17 points Jancis RobinsonCork-stoppered. Vines grown in Clarendon by Bernard Smart, dubbed a charming man and mentioned in relation to the Yangarra, High Sands Grenache 2017. Thistledown describe the vineyard as a ‘remarkable site that has vines of 100 years old. The entire site, planted high in the picturesque Clarendon sub-region, is dry-grown bush vines and has been farmed by the same family for three generations. This wine is sourced from one particular block where the canopy is raised slightly higher above the ground, allowing for better air circulation and increased radiated sunlight.’ Hand-picked on 15 March and transported to the winery where 20% was retained as whole bunches to be placed on the base of a two-tonne open fermenter. Fermented with ambient yeast and gently hand-plunged twice a day during active fermentation. Pressed off to 300-litre hogsheads, of which 25% were new French. Just 960 bottles produced.
Mid garnet. Toasty, broad, biscuity nose. Mmm. Lovely layered, sweet, pure, gorgeous instructive example of unadorned Grenache with a fine finish. Much more evolved than the S C Pannell 2017 even though it’s a year younger. Rose petals and vibrant, rather beautiful finish. This charming wine … but will it last that long?