Thousand Candles to launch in the UK

31st July, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Australian boutique wine, Thousand Candles, which is fast gaining a cult following, is to go on sale in the UK via Alliance Wine.

Thousand Candles

Thousand Candles

The Shiraz blend is made from selected plots within the 450-hectare Killara Park Estate in the southern Yarra Valley, owned by a Singapore-based entrepreneur.

Keen for consumers to look at Australian wine in a different light, Thousand Candles is the brainchild of consultant winemaker Bill Downie, previously of De Bortoli, and former Wine Australia UK general manager Paul Henry.

The wine takes its name from an ancient Aboriginal ceremony granting freedom of the bush, which concludes with the lighting of firesticks, to which one 19th century observer remarked: “Suddenly, it was as if the twilight was interrupted by a thousand candles”.

The label, designed by Adelaide based artist Melanie Terrett, is formed of hundreds of white dots interspersed with a few red dots clustered in the centre.

“Given the brand owner’s Asian roots, we had to check that the name had cultural resonance in China. White candles are funereal, while red are for remembrance,” Henry told the drinks business.

The inaugural 2011 vintage is formed of 92% Shiraz, 6% Pinot Noir and 2% barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, though there are plans to add Cabernet to the blend down the line.

“For all its haunting, subtly nuanced style, this is a bold wine,” said Giles Cooke MW, wine development director for Alliance Wine.

“It’s bold not for fulfilling the hackneyed Australian stereotype of strident fruit and deep flavour, but for its unique blend and for challenging perceptions of vintage and varietal appropriateness,” he added.

Winemaker Bill Downie

Thousand Candles’ winemaker Bill Downie

With its distinctive savoury edge, Henry admits that Thousand Candles is something of a “Marmite” wine consumers will either love or hate.

“It’s a polarising wine that people will either get or they won’t. Bill’s very comfortable with that,” he told db.

Passionate in his plight, Henry believes there should be more AU$100 wine coming out of Australia.

“The country merits more $100-a-bottle wine, but you can’t just conjure up a price without any substance, so, to some extent, it comes down to courage, credibility and availability,” he said.

Much of the 650-case annual production is destined for the Asian market.

Allocations for the UK will be small, with the first shipment expected to arrive in Britain in October with an RRP of £65.

Thousand Candles is being reserved for independent merchants and the on-trade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

European Brands Sales Manager, Field Sales Managers and Executives

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, Brighton, E Sussex/Kent, Cornwall & Devon, GB

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 3rd May 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more