This is the latest release from Thistledown, a collaboration between Giles Cooke, Fergal Tynan and Peter Leske, based in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Suilven is a beautifully packaged, sophisticated Chardonnay with potential for development, and this is its debut vintage.
Thistledown Suilven Chardonnay 2015 Adelaide Hills, Australia
13% alcohol. Very fine and expressive with nice [...]
I haven’t done an extended tasting note for a while. These are notes that attempt to look a little deeper at a wine, putting the drinking experience in context. This was a wine that I thought deserved such a note.
Domaine Lucci Spring Red 2015 Adelaide Hills, Australia
This is an unusual wine. It’s made by Anton [...]
After our tour of the Basket Range it was off to dinner at Taras and Amber’s place, which is secluded and fringed with green. This is not what you’d expect from, Australia in late November. We arrive to find quite a crowd gathered, all relaxed, happy and engaged with each other. This is pretty much [...]
At my dinner with the Adelaide Hills Basket Range guys, it was great to meet Monique Millton (daughter of Gisborne, NZ’s James and Annie Millton) and Tim Webber. They are making wine together under the Manon label. One thing they are doing that is, as far as I know, pretty unique, is to make wines [...]
Visit finished, Ben and I hopped into Anton’s Land Rover Defender. All aboard for a tour of the Basket Range.
The Basket Range is a beautiful corner of the Adelaide Hills, and it is the epicentre for the new wave of interesting, naturally made Australian wine. There’s a fabulous critical mass of winegrowers who are working [...]
The Monday morning after Rootstock. I threw all my belongings into a bag, and headed off to Sydney airport on the train. At the gate I bumped into a tired band of Rootstock survivors: Anton van Klopper, Tom Shobbrook, Monique and Annie Millton, and Tim Webber. They are cheerful but deeply weary. Most have had [...]
Penfolds are famous for their Bin Series reds, a range led by the world famous Grange. But back in the mid-1990s they decided to try their hand at whites, and chose Chardonnay as their target. Yattarna was launched as the white Grange, but the project also launched a number of other impressive Chardonnays. These were [...]
Dave Bowley, the Vinteloper, came round to dinner. And he bought this: one of the best Australian Pinot Noirs that I have tasted. It’s from a single Vineyard in Lenswood, Adelaide Hills that was planted in 1986. The slope faces east; the clone is D5V12; the elevation is 550m.
Winemaking: pigeage by hand & foot, wild [...]
I’ve reviewed the wines of Shaw & Smith before, here and here. I got to taste some of the latest releases, and I’m once again pretty impressed. The Sauvignon Blanc pays the bills for the other wines. The Chardonnay is probably the true star in the line up, but everything’s good here.
Shaw & Smith Pinot [...]
Australian Chardonnay is probably the wine style that has changed most in the last decade. The best examples are totally brilliant, and while I still have a nostalgic fondness for the big bad-assed rich examples of the past, the new super-lean Chardonnays with their mineral tension are just so good. Aussie Chardonnay went on a [...]