96 Points – Ken Gargett, Wine Pilot
95 Points – Patrick Eckel, Wine Reviewer
95 Points – Steve Leszczynski, QWine Reviews
93 Points – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion



The Sand Garden Grenache is a small parcel of incredibly special fruit from old vines planted in 1900 on our Arila Gardens property. The vines are gnarly and twisted with deep root systems spanning the predominately sand over clay earth beneath. The philosophy of this Grenache is simple; to make a world class Grenache that expresses this sought-after variety, from this historic place, in this time to be savoured for many years to come.

Our Garden Selection Grenache is a culmination of decades of experience, working in the Barossa Valley focussing on top end, age worthy wines. The intent with this wine is to showcase our vineyard in the Moppa sub-region of the Barossa Valley. The Moppa region is highly acclaimed and often blended in to the most sought after wines in the Barossa Valley, but rarely seen as a single vineyard offering. Arila Gardens embodies the power and complexity the region has built a reputation for, but with an elegance and finesse to the structure that we love to drink.

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Tasting Note

Grape Variety: Grenache.
Vineyard Region:  Sand Garden from the Arila Gardens single vineyard, Moppa, Barossa Valley.
Colour: Bright ruby red.
Nose: Enticing layers of cherry cola, strawberry coulis, fresh mulberries, and cream with subtle notes of malt and warm spice.
Palate: Upfront plush berry fruits fill the mouth with generous layers of mulberries, red plum and morello cherry. The tannins are open knit and velvety, creating a seamless gentle mouthfeel. Oak is barely noticeable with a subtle creamy influence. Fresh acidity lifts bright fruit flavours to finish. Elegance, freshness and flavour feature.
Cellaring Potential: 10+ years

Vintage Conditions

The 2020 growing season was a challenging one viticulturally. Below average rainfall in winter and spring of 2019, combined with wind at flowering and a hot dry December and early January severely impacted yields. Fewer bunches than typical combined with small bunch and berry size made for limited quantities of intensely flavoured fruit. Rain on the 1st of February was a savour to vines, allowing fruit to gradually ripen with good flavour, colour, and tannin development, in sync with sugar accumulation. Fruit for this Grenache was handpicked on the 17 of March.


  • Hand-picked – 17 March 2020 (less than 1 tonne picked)
  • Cold soak 48 hours at 12 °C
  • Splattering of whole bunch at base of fermenter
  • Remainder whole berry
  • Fermentation in small open top fermenter for 14 days with gentle pump overs and occasional hand plunging
  • Gentle pressing via bag press
  • Maturation – 14 months in 100% seasoned French oak (2 Hogsheads)
  • Yeast lees contact for oak maturation
  • Racked from barrel and filtered prior to bottling
  • Wine analysis
    pH – 3.39
    Acidity – 7.1 g/L
    Alcohol – 14.5 %
    Residual Sugar – Dry: 0.71 g/L


The Clay family purchased what would become Arila Gardens in 2018 and in a very short, Covid-interrupted, period have established an enviable reputation for some truly exceptional reds. They have done so by, for wont of a better way to put it, sticking to the region’s knitting. Varietal Grenache and Shiraz, blends of GSM, using old vines and traditional methods. It is what has made the region famous and if it ain’t broke…

Love this varietal Grenache. At the moment, there is serious competition in both the Barossa and McLaren Vale – and a few other regions as well – for old vine, quality Grenache. These guys have firmly established themselves as part of the conversation. From vines planted in the Moppa subregion in 1900, this is a cracker. Bright red/crimson in colour, the aroma is an enticing mix of raspberry notes, bergamot, spices and root vegetables. Already complex, even at this early stage, dry herbs emerge on the palate. Seamless, focused, balanced and with excellent length through to silky, if ever so slightly sandy tannins, this is a joy now and has at least a decade ahead of it. Love it. Ken Gargett, Wine Pilot (96 Points)

Arila is a producer that will soon become an Australian icon, having tried a number of their early releases the quality is exceptional. With the 2020 Grenache you are met with Christmas cake like aromatics with plush plum and cherry that has raisin and sweet spice.

The palate is medium bodied with taut, drying tannins that takes on earth and gives a structural base for precise dark cherry and wild strawberry fruit to show itself. Wonderful depth of polished red berry fruits to finish.. – Patrick Eckel, Wine Reviewer (95 Points)

It’s always a privilege to become acquainted with a new label. This Grenache from Arila Gardens is super impressive. One of those little operators that don’t have a cellar door open to the public but they do tastings by appointment only. Here’s a tip, make the appointment.

Lavish and luxurious all the way, mulberries and blueberries muse early. Some juicy entices early factor before it doubles down and gets serious. Silky smooth, this is dangerously moreish. Shades of cola with some sweetish oak bringing cedar to the table. It’s a wine that slides through the mouth with absolute ease. There is so much pleasure here, so much going on. Carefully handled spice is massaged into its frame before a dash of red plums on exit. But those tannins! They’re adventurous and shapely. Get around this, it’s wonderful neck oil that will disappear in no time. Pour me another. Make it large. – Steve Leszczynski, QWine Reviews (95 Points)

Grenache sourced from the Arila Gardens vineyard in Moppa, a small percentage of whole bunches in the ferment and aged for 14 months in old French oak. Flush with ripe satsuma plum, mulberry and cherry notes, underscored with hints of gingerbread, cola, exotic spice and earth. There’s a curtain of grainy fine tannins and spicy dark and red fruit compote on the exit with just a tinge of soursop to the acid profile as it trails. – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion (93 Points)