While 2017 may be regarded as a cool vintage for McLaren Vale, cream rises to the top and Stephen Pannell isn’t lactose free. From 75 year old dry grown vines in the Blewitt Springs sand. 20% whole bunch, open top fermenters and 11 days on skins. Aged in 8 year old French oak vats. Stephen thinks this is “quite possibly the best grenache (he has) made.”
S.C. Pannell, Old McDonald, Grenache, McLaren Vale, 2017
Brightly edged ruby colour in the glass. Pinot-esque nose with fragrant dark cherry, pomegranate, slight smoky meaty lift before telltale raspberry crystals, purple flowers and a graphite edge. Elegance, tension, balance. Blood orange, soft briar fall like pages turning from a book held aloft with urging, insistent (but not intrusive) vibrant acidity. Tannin gently closes the flavour like fingers into a fist so tight, ready to be unclenched as and when it likes. Benchmark grenache.
Wine sample courtesy of S.C. Pannell