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Thistledown, Sands of Time Single Vineyard Old Vine Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2021

Product code: 2875
Thistledown, Sands of Time Single Vineyard Old Vine Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2021

Producer Profile

Masters of Wine, Giles Cooke & Fergal Tynan, founded Thistledown Wines in 2010 after discovering iconic vineyard sites in the McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills.

They make hand-made, small batch wines that perfectly illustrate the benefits of great sites and intelligent, minimalist winemaking.


Early on in their Grenache journey, the Thistledown team were introduced to Sue Trott’s Home Block in the Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale. Its beautiful aspect, raised elevation and free-draining deep sandy soils are the perfect spot for old dry-grown bush-vine Grenache and they feel so lucky to be offered the opportunity to purchase a little fruit. 5 years on and they have learned a little about the site and refined their picking decisions and vinification to the extent that from 2017 they were content that they could do the site justice by bottling separately.


Hand-picked, on the way up, they vinify naturally in concrete and place whole bunches alternately with de-stemmed fruit to create a layer cake. A very gentle, slow fermentation is followed by maturation in oak and concrete before a careful selection is done, which is then bottled unfined and unfiltered 10 months later.

Oak Ageing

Time: 10 Months
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: None

Tasting Note

Rare is the vintage that combines good yields and high quality but 2021 was just that. A remarkable vintage in that it was once again pandemic affected but that it was measured and mild with none of the heat spikes or drought conditions of recent years. A faithful expression of the site – beautiful, haunting aromatics, fine sandy tannins and wonderful, memorable length on the palate.

Food Matching

A great match for many Asian-style dishes as long as they aren’t too spicy.


Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 97+ Points
Hooley dooley. Good. This 2021 Sands of Time Old Vine Single Vineyard Grenache shows Grenache in its best light; when the fruit is buoyant, succulent, airy and spicy, but also when it has been compressed and screwed down into place by gossamer fine tannins. This is tight yet expansive, classy yet exciting: a wine of amalgums and complexity. So what does it taste like? First, raspberry leaf tea, red licorice, berry coulis... then blood, ferrous and iodine seep into the edges and drag with them licorice, pink peppercorn, hung deli meat and a whiff of blackberry pie. It finishes slender, with graphite and quartz. The cooler year has exposed a fine framework of ripe, whippy tannins, which hold the fruit in place—ever-present yet invisible. What a wine. 97+ Points, EL, July 2022.
James Suckling 94 Points
Aromas of baked cherry and strawberry, white pepper and rosemary stem. Full-bodied with powdery tannins. Spicy and juicy on the palate, with an array of ground spices. Coriander, paprika and clove. Red licorice and elderberry as well. Very good intensity and concentration. Vegan. Best after 2025. 94 Points, November 2022.

Technical Details
Grenache 100%
Vegetarian Vegan

Natural cork


Still wine

Case Size:
6 x 75cl

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