Ben says

★★ Great Wine “Ruby like a jewel with flecks of youthful purple. Brimming with fresh strawberry and red cherry. Simple nose but wow is it beautifully made when you come to drink it. Excellent purity and freshness, lifted and velvet tannins, almost ghost-like alcohol integration and a long, toned and textured finish. Floral and herbal hues persist and a liquorice like bittersweet freshness bring you in for a second mouthful. Very nice Grenache.”

The Vagabond Old Vine Grenache, Blewitt Springs


Varietal Grenache with 14.5% abv. Hand-picked with 68% of the blend wildly fermented in a concrete pyramid layered with whole bunch and crushed fruit. An innovative approach? The remainder is fermented in an open fermenter and hand plunged twice daily. Aged for 10 months in French puncheons, concrete egg and 10% in oak.

Grown in: Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, AUSTRALIA.

Food Pairing

I like to drink Grenache with everyday dishes like sausages (or pie) and mash, but it comes alive with lamb or game. It’s also surprisingly good at stacking up alongside smoky flavours too.

Disclosure & Price

Tasted at the Beckford Bottle Shop annual tasting.

£25.95 Beckford Bottle Shop, Bath.

Reviewed and tasted: 5 November 2022

Ben Franks Wine Tasting Note Producer Profile

About the Producer

Thistledown is Alliance Wine’s Australian project bringing together Giles Cooke MW, Fergal Tynan MW and Peter Leske. The brand was inspired by the links between Scotland and Australia after James Busby and John MacArthur first grew a wine industry in Oz in the 19th Century. Thistledown Wine Co., is a small batch winery in Adelaide Hills with a focus on the patchwork of South Australian Grenache, each being bottled to showcase their own unique style.