SC Pannell Winter Release 6 packs
Every time I meet Stephen Pannell I am struck by how engaged he is. It is a trait that no doubt seeded his talent early and continues to fuel his curiosity in the long term. He established SC Pannell wines in 2004 alongside his equally dynamic wife Fiona and has been consistently producing outstanding wines ever since. The home base is in the McLaren Vale where he farms 22 Hectares but fruit is also sourced locally and from the cooler slopes of the nearby Adelaide Hills. Regardless of colour, body or over-arching style his wines are always fruit forward, varietally driven and underpinned by great acidity. Characteristics he seeks but never wants to achieve through additions. Therefore an interest in alternative, higher acid grape varieties was borne. An area he is considered by many to be a pioneer and an interest that looks at the warming climate they’ve been observing. This week we’ve put together two different 6-packs both focussing on his winter releases.
Pack #1. The inaugural release of the SC Pannell ‘Nero Diavola’ comes literally from the vineyards first crop of fruit. Given the age of the vineyard, even Stephen seemed surprised at how balanced, expressive and approachable this wine is. Substitute it for your midweek shiraz, but expect more precision and spice across the palate. There is so much bang for buck in this wine and expect to hear more about this variety here in the future.
Pack #2. Premium New Releases. Two bottles each of the following;
Nebbiolo is already an SC Pannell classic, but the 2016 vintage is the easily the best we’ve seen. Bright, spicy and aromatic but as usual packed full of rich flavour and built to last. The 2017 Barbera is also laden lush fruits and spice but feels a little more compact and svelte in comparison, due largely to Barbera’s dark fruit, keen acid but lower tannin structure. Finally SC Pannell’s 2017 Cabernet Malbec. Okay, Cabernet and Malbec aren’t ’Alternative’ but geez the wine is good. A richly flavoured red full of Cassis, chocolates, earth and spice.
The two former wines are from an immaculate Adelaide Hills vineyard (Gumeracha) and reveals Stephen’s love affair with Piemonte. The Cabernet/Malbec is from the McLaren Vale and when the vineyard was offered, it inspired Stephen pay homage to local icon Wendouree who immortalised this blend.