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Product code: 3107

Thistledown, Vagabond Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2019

Thistledown, Vagabond Grenache, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia, 2019

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. In one of the most geologically diverse regions in the world, Grenache thrives but has not always been valued – until now.


From 3 separate, old, dry grown, bush trained vineyards in Blewitt Spring, planted in deep sands with some ironstone. 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

A beautifully balanced red, this is an unusually elegant take on Grenache with an almost Pinot like delicacy, the wine is violet scented with bright red fruit on the palate, subtle savoury oak and a warm silky finish.

Food Matching

North African influenced foods, jamon and game.


James Suckling 96 Points
This showcases the power of Blewitt Springs in a very boldly stated, fruit-driven expression of grenache with real purpose. The aromas are of redcurrants, raspberries, pomegranate and blood oranges and lead to a palate with a phenomenal drive of acidity and tannin. Such intense and defined style here. 96 Points. May 2020.
The Wine Companion 95 Points
I adore this estate's obsession with grenache, quite possibly SA's saviour alongside a swag of Italian indigenes and mataro, especially in lieu of the warming planet, the variety's torrid Mediterranean mettle and the lack of natural structure in shiraz. A delicious full-bodied wine that seems, despite it all, barely mid-weighted. This is due to the maritime salinity, pointed acidity and fishbone tannins, etching the flow of fruit with a detailed edge that confers savouriness and a sense of freshness while corralling persimmon, pomegranate, fecund strawberry and cranberry scents. This is looser knit than the other top cuvees, but no less delicious. 95 Points, NG, Aug 2021

Technical Details
Grenache 100%

Screw cap


Still wine

Case Size:
6 x 75cl