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 *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager – London On-Trade

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Customer Service & Sales Support Executive

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Market Insight Analyst

Conviviality PLC
London, UK

Technical Manager

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more