Thistledown’s Distant Light Grenache Shiraz is a thoughtful blend made with fruit from a considered mish-mash of vineyards. Young, old, trained, bush-vine, the focus is on vibrant fruit that makes concentrated, elegant, balanced wine. And that’s exactly what Distant Light is.
An evocative blend of stemmy, vibrant Grenache and warm Shiraz, juicy tannins are abundant. Spice, pepper and an abundance of berries fill the nose, with a medium-bodied palate of earth, ripe berries, and herb.
All fruit, despite different sources, is treated in the same way. Hand-picked and wild fermented with varying percentages of whole bunch and gentle extraction. It is aged in both concrete and French oak, with no fining or filtration.
A neighbourly blend of grenache from Blewitt Springs and Clarendon in the Vale, with warmer shiraz from Ebenezer and Mengler Hill. Picked by hand, fermented under the aegis of spontaneity with ample whole-bunch seasoning and maturation in top-drawer French oak. The result, seamless. Again, the tannins maketh the wine: pithy, taut and juicy. Gorgeous aromas of mottled red plum, five-spice, white pepper, clove, cardamon and kirsch, expanding across the finish. Grenache the clear leader of the pack. For the better. Thrilling length. I’d drink this with youth on its side and a little chilled to hide the Barossan sweetness.
95 points, (January 2020)
Grenache (51%) from Blewitt Springs and Clarendon meets Shiraz (49%) from Ebenezer and Eden Valley. Raised in concrete and large format French oak.
All the berries, exotic spice, dried mint and sage, musk and roses. Just over medium-bodied, love the feel of the suede-like tannin, ripe berries, dried beef and grilled mushroom, spicy, perfumed and long to close. Classic feel to this, and I’d say it will age pretty nicely too.
95 points, The Wine Front (January 2021)
A blend of 51% McLaren Vale Grenache (from Blewitt Springs and Clarendon) and 49% Barossa Shiraz (from growers Hoffmann, Kelleske and Mattschoss), the 2018 Distant Light Grenache Shiraz displays more obvious oak than the other Thistledown wines, despite being aged in a mix of larger-format barrels and concrete vessels. The notes of cedar and vanilla are balanced by concentrated cherry-berry fruit, with delicate herbal nuances (mint, bay leaf) adding welcome grace notes. It's medium to full-bodied and silky on the palate, polished, refined and elegant, with a long, harmonious finish.
93 points, Wine Advocate (February 2021)