S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache 2017

This is the first release by Stephen Pannell with fruit from a 63 year old dry grown vineyard on soils over 750 million years old, farmed by Wayne Smart. Sitting at an altitude of 230 metres above sea level next to the Clarendon township, this is the highest grenache vineyard in McLaren Vale. Open top fermenters and 10 days on skins (no whole bunch). Aged in a 2500l 6 year old French oak vat and 3rd and 4th use French oak puncheons.

S.C. Pannell, Smart, Grenache, McLaren Vale, 2017

Powerfully spiced and aromatic: like shredding purple (Thai) basil and violets with your hands and almost drowning in the intoxicating aroma. Even more amazing as this is made without any whole bunches. Regional graphite, baked raspberry, cranberry and baby powder. Rippling, lithe tannins wrap themselves around herbal (not green) spiced, crunchy cranberry red fruit and an underlying acidity that like a skilled assassin, cuts unobserved, only to notice the damage once executed. Intense and almost agitated, this has a nervy, edgy nature underneath that cloak of red fruit. Energetic indeed, but won’t slow down for many years yet.

RRP: $60
Alc: 14.2%
Rating: 18.5/20

Wine sample courtesy of S.C. Pannell


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