Thistledown Grenache She's Electric 2019
Pipe Tobacco, Dried Cherries, Cinnamon, Thyme, Bay Leaf
Australian Grenache is basically an unknown category in the US. Shiraz gets the lion’s share of the attention, but so often when tasting with Aussie winemakers it is their Grenache that they are most passionate about. There is a lot of it too, as it was the favorite variety of winemakers for most of the 20th century. The reason is that it achieves a high level of ripeness relatively early in the fall. Remember that prior to the late 1970’s most of the wine produced in Australia was fortified, like Port, so varietal character was not important. When Shiraz took off after that, most wineries never pulled out or planted any new Grenache vines favoring Shiraz. Today there are thousands of acres of Grenache vines, 50 years and older, which is when they start producing really interesting fruit. This is why dozens of wineries now put their Grenache wines forward as their flagship production, including the dynamic duo of Thistledown, Giles Cooke and Fergal Tynan, coincidentally both Masters of Wine.
To make this wine they actually they found a fantastic vineyard in the McLaren Vale where roughly half of the vines are more than 100 years old, while the remainder were closer to 70. They researched the site and discovered that when the power company was running lines to the rural farmers of the area, a bird landed on a wire that was not grounded and was electrocuted. It then burst into flames and fell into the dry brush between the vines, starting a wild fire that consumed half of the vineyard. The owner at the time replanted creating blocks of vines of two different ages.