S.C. Pannell (Mclaren Vale/Adelaide Hills)
❁ S.C. Pannell (Mclaren Vale/Adelaide Hills) www.pannell.com.au
Steve Pannell PO Box 119, Unley BC SA 5061
Tel: 08 8271 7118 Fax: 08 8271 7113
Steve Pannell’s background is as eclectic as his flagship range, which encompasses McLaren Vale stalwarts Grenache, Shiraz and Shiraz/Grenache but also an Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo. Pannell, a Western Australian, is the son of Dr Bill Pannell, founder of Margaret River’s MOSS WOOD and PICARDY WINES in Pemberton. However, he has avidly pursued winemaking opportunities elsewhere, notably spending 10 years at HARDYS, where he was chief red winemaker, but also working vintage at Domaine des COMTES LAFON in Burgundy, Château MOUTON ROTHSCHILD in Bordeaux and G.D. VAJRA in Barolo. In 2004, he struck out on his own and has fast established a reputation for wines that skilfully combine ripe fruit and tannins with a sense of place. Careful vineyard selection (Pannell owns neither vineyards nor winery) and hands off winemaking in open top fermenters with natural yeast, hand plunging, no acidification and minimal use of new oak results in food friendly wines of impeccable balance. The Shiraz Grenache, his strongest suit, is an elegant rendition of the blend with ample spice, ripe but present tannins and impressive freshness, even in difficult years like 2007 and 2008. A floral Grenache without an ounce of fat exemplifies Pannell’s take on this variety as “warm climate Pinot Noir.” The Shiraz shows similar restraint and line when compared with McLaren Vale’s traditional style, which is typified by a generous mid-palate. Though the Nebbiolo is widely regarded as Australia’s best, youthful plantings can only take you so far. At this price point while it shows good varietal character, not least quite stern tannins, it lacks the finesse of similarly priced Italian counterparts. Only time will tell if Pannell’s carefully selected new clones will reduce the gap. Aptly named entry level Pronto red and white are soft, exuberant but interesting blends, easier on both palate and pocket. In the works, a blend of Touriga Nacional and Tempranillo. (SA)
To find out more about S.C. Pannell and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide here..
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