Protero Spring Releases

Halliday Wine Companion - Best New Wineries - Runners-up Protero Adelaide Hills

A short narrative on a long time line; 2004, Stephen, Fiona, Bella and Finn return from Piedmont to find Nebbiolo growing in the Northern Adelaide Hills just outside Gumeracha. Planted by Rose and Frank Baldasso in 1999.

Many chances to purchase the vineyard but only one reason; five clones of Nebbiolo planted on a western facing slope the only variety worth keeping.

To make Nebbiolo is to understand tannin and that paradigm drives all of Stephen’s red-winemaking decisions (before all others). But what is Australian Nebbiolo? How does it translate? “We shouldn't attempt to replicate the wines of Piedmont but rather create a unique style of Nebbiolo that speaks of our place”.

That place or country is surrounded by native Australian bush. Bush that burns,“signed on a Monday on fire by Friday”, a uniquely Australian story of Nebbiolo. Two times in twenty years the vineyard has been surrounded by fire and twice it has survived.

Stamps of protection; sigils representing belief in the place; talisman representing courage, temerity, conviction..... or just art!

‘In late December 2019 Fiona and I signed a contract for Rose and Frank Baldasso’s Gumeracha-vineyard. Planted to all the wrong varieties bar one: five clones of Nebbiolo we have worked with since 2005. The following week, it was surrounded by flames, and only through the courage of others was Protero spared.

We are surrounded by brave people and we must also be courageous. To that end we have removed Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Viognier and planted varieties we like drinking and believe in: Barbera, Dolcetto, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling. All well suited to the landscape, the region and, in particular, this place, Protero.’ Stephen and Fiona Pannell



“The International flavours of Barbera make it an ideal accompaniment to the Australian way of life, be it the food we eat or our support for the underdog. It may come second to Nebbiolo in its native Piedmont but that doesn’t mean its short on authenticity or character and in many ways is my preferred variety for everyday drinking.” SCP

Vineyard: Peramangk Country, Kenton Valley Road, Gumeracha, Adelaide Hills
Block: Bonoposto vineyard owned and farmed by Carmine Pepecelli.
Clones: AT424
Growing Season: Dramatically reduced yields due to lower than average rainfall set up for a winemakers vintage with every scrap of experience tested and measured.

Harvest: 6th April 2019 – 7 tonnes.
Process: A three-day cold soak on skins before a ten day fermentation followed by gentle pressing. Malolactic fermentation in French oak puncheon, 20% new, followed by five months maturation.
Maturation: Extended maturation in oak vat and extra-large puncheon.
Bottled: Bottled without fining or filtration early December 2020, 6500 bottles produced.

ALC: 14% Ph: 3.34 TA: 7.0

Aroma: Classic | Calm | Poise. None of the tuty fruity bubblegum fruit character typical of low tannin varieties. Scandinavian - forest berries and preserved protein followed by a Japanese temple – polished floorboards and incense.
Flavour: Glossy | Tension | Refreshing. Deliciously medium bodied with loads of pink fruit and cherry compote. Bay leaf and subtle spice give rise to an umami finish.
Texture: Mouthfeel is driven by acidity with tannin sitting well back on the palate.
Cellar: It can and will cellar well for up to ten years.

Varieties suited to the landscape, the region and this place, Protero


“There really aren’t many places outside Piedmont where Nebbiolo has translocated well. This vineyard is one of those places and I am confident in stating that it may well be the ideal red grape variety for the region.” SCP

Vineyard: Peramangk Country, Kenton Valley Road, Gumeracha, Adelaide Hills
Block: Block 2, planted in 1999 by Frank and Rosie Baldasso, managed by Carmine Pepicelli Clones: 230, 111, F12V7, F12V13, Mudgee all on own roots.
Growing Season: Dramatically reduced yields due to lower than average rainfall set up for a winemakers vintage with every scrap of experience tested and measured.
Harvest: 17th April 2019. 8 tonnes total.
Process: Macerated for 25 days before gentle pressing. Sent to 4600L French oak vat and extra large puncheon for malolactic fermentation and maturation.
Maturation: Extended maturation in old French oak vat and puncheon.
Bottled: Bottled without fining or filtration in December 2020, 7380 bottles.

ALC: 14.5% Ph: 3.54 TA: 6.2

Aroma: Perfumed | Alive | Subtle - Immediately activates all the senses, a nose of brick dust,
rose petals, red fruit and linseed.
Flavour: Varietal | Confident | Charm - Strolls with long strides on red roads under blue skies, raspberry and layers of fruits-of-the-forest. The finish has a liquorice kick with amaro the final salute to it’s Italian roots.
Texture: The tannins are layered and present but sit back on the palate, latent and reserved, but bold and persistent.
Cellar: You could give it 10 but it is very good now.

Varieties suited to the landscape, the region and this place, Protero


“A white blend inspired by the wines of Northern Italy but strangely suited to the spicy foods my household craves. Try with Miang Kham.” SCP

Vineyard: Gewürztraminer - Woodside (Sam Virgara’s vineyard was ravaged by the 2019 fires but are now well on their way to full recovery. We are grateful to Sam for allowing us a small portion of his 2021 fruit.) Riesling - Echunga, Sauvignon - Carey Gully.

Growing Season: Joyous. No stress in the vineyard with plenty of water and heat at the right time. An extended ripening period without disease pressure lead to great flavour. The fruit was plentiful and perfectly ripe. What a strange contrast to the previous year.

Harvest: Gewürztraminer - 22nd of February 2021, Riesling and Sauvignon – 18th of March 2021
Blend: 76% Gewürztraminer, 20% Riesling, 4% Sauvignon
Process: The Gewürztraminer had completed fermentation before the Riesling and Sauvignon were picked. The two later varieties were co-fermented with fermentation stopped at desired level of sweetness by chilling. Both parcels blended on yeast lees and left to settle in stainless steel. No adjustments necessary. Residual Sugar at bottling 7.5 g/L.

Bottled: 23rd of July 2021, 14,000 bottles produced.

ALC: 13% Ph: 3.31 TA: 6.1

Aroma: Exotic | Complex | Aromatic - Galangal, stem ginger, Turkish delight, beurre bosch pear and citrus blossom.
Flavour: Fresh | Linear | Compelling - A laser like entry of exotic flavour backed up by a back palate alive with stone fruit and lingering Asian herbs like lemongrass and corriander root.
Cellar: No way, drink it today!

Varietes suited to the landscape, the region and this place, Protero


“The decision to do very little in the winery and to allow the fruit to speak with the loudest voice is often the hardest to make.” SCP

Vineyard: St Clar, Maccelsfield, Southern Adelaide Hills. A sub region of the hills that was thankfully spared the impact of fire and smoke.

Growing season: How best to describe a vintage that started with fire and ended with a pandemic? Problematic.

A dry start with lower than expected winter and spring rain topped off with a day of intense heat as flowering lead to early anxiety around yields. Fires and the devastation they bring struck around Christmas with many of our growers and friends losing their livelihoods. This weighed heavy on us as we went into vintage. Thankfully the days got cooler sooner than anticipated allowing long, even ripening. A year to remember and be thankful.

Harvest: Pinot Grigio - 3rd March, Pinot Nero - 4th March
Blend: 85% Pinot Grigio, 15% Pinot Nero
Process: Crushed, pressed and blended as juice with minimal extraction and immediately
fermented in stainless steel. A small parcel sent to an old french oak barrique in April and blended-back in July.
Bottled: Cold stabilised and bottled on the 5th August 2020, 7900 bottles.

ALC: 13% Ph: 3.31 T A: 6.1

Aroma: Pretty | Fragrant | Lively - Orange blossom leads the charge followed by pear drops, lilac, oleander, musk lollies and strawberry fields.
Flavour: Plush | Silky | Persistent - An avalanche of flavours from pear lollies to sherbert and musk with a grapefruit zest finish that builds length.
Cellar: You could keep it for a few years but drinking now just as good.

Varieties suited to the landscape, the region and this place, Protero

  Winefront reviews by Gary Walsh

Posted on 21 April 2021


Protero Pinots 2020

‘It’s 85% Pinot Grigio and 15% Pinot Nero. Pear and fresh strawberry, musk sticks, flowers and spice. Fresh, juicy, direct and very tasty, with a fine chalk dust texture, and a sort of flowering basil mouth-perfume along with peachy goodness. Finish is tight and super clean. Classic refreshing dry white, built for supping with gusto.’

92 Points

New release enquiry