2022 Varietal Winners

Top Rated: Grenache and Blends

By The Tasting Team
Grenache was the stuff of history a decade ago. My, how things have changed! Attentive detail in the vines and elegance in the wines have ushered in a brand new day. A short list of only five wines in our final judging for Grenache of the Year should not be construed to reflect any lack of strength in the category, but rather the dominance of two regions (McLaren Vale and Barossa) with one stunning outlier – the Swinney family has proven that Frankland River can play at this game, too.

At the end of the day, it’s McLaren Vale for the win, putting forward more top-scoring wines than every other region put together. Thistledown’s 80-year-old Blewitt Springs bush vines proved to be convincing and worthy in the final showdown.

Find out more about grenache in our essential guide.

2019 Thistledown Sands of Time Old Vine Single Vineyard Blewitt Springs Grenache

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Ex 1946 Blewitt Springs bush vines planted in a deep sandy dune that Yangarra call The Beach; dry-grown, bunch-sorted, wild yeast, open fermented and basket pressed. Bright clear though deep crimson hue; scented/perfumed, and I'm gone for all money without even tasting it. And I haven't fooled myself. Except why on earth is is only $45? Its red fruit sundae glistens with dew drops on a spider's web, yet also has a savoury echo towards the finish. – James Halliday

*This is an edited extract from the 2022 Halliday Wine Companion, with reviews by Jane Faulkner, James Halliday, Erin Larkin, Tony Love, Ned Goodwin MW, Jeni Port and chief editor Tyson Stelzer.

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