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Product code: 3107

Thistledown, The Vagabond Old Vine Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2020

Thistledown, The Vagabond Old Vine Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2020

Producer Profile

Ever since historic Scots, James Busby and John MacArthur founded the Australian wine industry in the early 19th century, the relationship between Scotland and Australia has been an enduring one.

Guardians of a long history, Thistledown Wine Co. continues the tradition of Scottish ingenuity and great Australian wine. From their small-batch winery in the idyllic Adelaide Hills, they work with pristine fruit sourced from iconic vineyard sites.


Convinced that, of all of the regions of Australia, the greatest potential for greatness is in the McLaren Vale, Thistledown therefore set about finding unique plots throughout the region, looking for specific soil formations that would embue the Vagabond with finesse, varietal purity and texture and sourced the fruit from three or four remarkable sites in the famed Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale.


The fruit was hand picked, 68% was wild fermented in a concrete pyramid which had layers of whole bunch and crushed fruit. This ferment had no mechanical extraction. The balance was wild fermented in an open fermenter with 35% whole bunches, hand plunged twice daily. This portion was aged in puncheons while the pyramid fermented was pressed back to a concrete egg and oak puncheons for maturation.

Oak Ageing

Time: 10 Months
Type: French Puncheons
% wine oaked: 10
% new oak: 0

Tasting Note

This wine possesses a beautifully complex, aromatic nose of violets, wild cherry, rosemary and warming spice. The palate is energetic yet polished and smooth with vibrant cherry, spice, wild strawberry and liquorice on the palate. Medium bodied but multi-layered and textural with a very long, aromatic finish.

Food Matching

North African influenced foods, jamon and game.


The Wine Front 94 Points
from three old vine vineyards in Blewitt Springs. Ripe raspberry and cherry, rosemary and thyme, plenty of exotic spice. It’s a lush and fragrant beasty, but has cool cranberry acidity, stony tannin grip and a long fine chalky finish, with savoury dried beef and herb chiming in on the aftertaste. Excellent. 94 Points, GW, 2021
Gourmet Wine Traveller 96 Points
An excellent expression of the powerful potential of old vine grenache from Blewitt Springs. Aromas of blood orange, raspberry and redcurrant, and savoury, stony notes. The palate has sleek, long and persistent shape, the raspberry and redcurrant flavours hold beautifully. 96 Points, NS, 2021.
James Suckling 96 Points
A powerful and detailed grenache that offers up Campari-like red fruit and herbs with raspberries and iron. The palate is polished, in that there’s plenty of ripe, deep-set tannin here, carrying red-fruit flavors long. Drink or hold. Screw cap. 96 Points, JS, Sept 2021.
James Halliday Wine Companion 95 Points
Borne by elevated sand, flecked with Blewitt Springs ironstone. A wine that sits below the single-vineyard hierarchy albeit can, at times, equal if not better them. Raspberry liqueur, anise, white pepper, lilac and orange zest. Gorgeous aromatics framed by herb-doused tannins. Pinosity and grip. Flare and excitement. Length of finish eased across a throttle of dangerous drinkability. 95 Points, NG, Oct 2021

Technical Details
Grenache 100%
Vegetarian Vegan

Screw cap


Still wine

Case Size:
6 x 75cl