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Product code: 3107

Thistledown, Vagabond Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2018

Thistledown, Vagabond Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2018

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. Giles Cooke MW and Fergal Tynan MW, with the helping hand of Peter Leske, craft lithe, energetic wines that illustrate the benefits of great sites and intelligent, low-intervention winemaking. Giles and Fergal share a particular passion for Grenache and, in ever more detail, Thistledown continue to unpick the rich patchwork of South Australian Grenache – reassembling it in their own inimitable style. This unique blend of superb fruit sources and experience in both the New and the Old Worlds helps craft wine of subtlety, texture and detail – wines perfectly suited to complement rather than overwhelm fine food.


From 70 year old, dry grown, bush vines in Blewitt Springs planted in deep sands with some ironstone. The fruit was hand picked.


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 Treatment

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

Tasting Note

Sourced from three remarkable sites in the famed Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale, 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.


Huon Hooke 95 Points
Deep red/purple colour. The bouquet is reserved and sweet, with herbal, green-stem, Turkish Delight and fresh earth aromas. This is medium to full-bodied and quite firmly structured within the grenache spectrum, a more structured style with length and firmness in the finish. Impressive stuff. Drink 2019 to 2034, HH, 95 Points, April 2019.
James Suckling 95 Points
A great address for grenache, this stands out from the rest of the range for more pronounced acidity and tannin. The flowers, dried and fresh raspberries and wild herbal flurries on the nose lead to a palate that has a firm spine of tannin and fresh, blood-orange and raspberry flavors.. JS 95, Points, June 2019.
The Wine Front 93+ Points
It’s fair to say the boys at Thistledown surely do love their Grenache. This one also Blewitt Springs. Sage and herb perfume, red frogs and raspberry, cinnamon spice. It’s juicy and lively, light herbal flavour, gentle rasp of tannin, delicious flavour, slightly warm, but long on the finish, a bit of gravel and dried herb kicked up in its wake. 93+ Points, GW, July 2019.
Mclaren Vale Wine Show 2019
96 Points, Best Small Batch Wine, Best One Year Old Grenache and Best Grenache In Show!

Technical Details
Grenache 100%

Screw cap


Still wine

Case Size:
6 x 75cl