SC Pannell 2019 Single Vineyard Grenache Release



It’s an exciting time to be a Grenache maker and even more exciting to be a Grenache grower but as the popularity of Grenache grows I find myself wondering is it disrespectful for it to be treated only as a “session wine”? It is time to fully embraced this unique opportunity and elevate Grenache to a more honoured place in the Australian wine ethos.

Varietal wines made from Grenache are a rarity in the wine world. In McLaren Vale this comes down to scarcity with only 6% of the region planted to the variety. I’m doing my part by replacing Cabernet Sauvignon with Grenache at Koomilya, offered as cuttings from the esteemed Smart vineyard in Clarendon. I like the character of Grenache grown on red sandy-soils and can’t wait to see these vines mature.

Hopefully more people will take the same chance and the opportunity to learn from people like Bernie Smart, who was responsible for planting many of McLaren Vale’s Grenache gardens and still hand prunes his magical bush vines in Clarendon at the age of 86. It is people like Bernie whom we should turn to and in turn celebrate not only for their foresight but also their enduring courage and commitment. It becomes increasingly important to acknowledge the wisdom of our forefathers in planting Grenache and learn from their lifetime of challenges and successes.

The two wines below are my attempt to claim place over winemaker as the most significant influence over a wine’s quality All I have to do is counteract the two misguided extremes of varietal style: sweet and syrupy at one end, under-ripe, tannin-free giggle juice at the other. Truly great Grenache is neither. Truly great Grenache has aromatics and texture with vibrance and energy. It unfurls gradually with air and, most importantly, speaks clearly of soil and season. - Stephen Pannell

Vintage: A winemaker’s vintage with every scrap of experience tested and measured. Lower than average winter rainfall set up for a dry growing season resulting in dramatically reduced yields. In low yield years acidity is generally good setting the resulting wines up for stability and long lives.



Vineyard: Smart Vineyard, Clarendon
Farmed by: Bernie and Wayne Smart
Aspect: South East Facing
Altitude: 230m above sea level
Soil Type: Saddleworth Formation: laminated dark grey

and green siltstone.
Soil Age: Up to 750 Million years Vines planted: 1956 Trellis: Bush Vine Irrigation: No
Harvest Date: 16th March 2019 Tonnes Picked: 5.12 by hand

Fermentation: Open top stainless steel Management: Pump over three to six per day Time on Skins:12 days
Whole Bunch: No
Malolactic Fermentation: Yes
Vessel: 2800L old French oak vat & puncheon Racked: Four times
Additions: SO2 at bottling
Bottling date: 22nd July, 2020
Bottles produced: 3640

pH: 3.62 TA: 7.2 ALC: 14.5% Total SO2: 46ppm

Aromas: Bold, no holding back - Raspberry, strawberry and black berry, bees wax, rose petals, citrus rind: mandarin and cum- quat perfume.

Flavours: Turkish Delight and musk lollies, rosewater and exotic spice including mace. Exotic.

Texture: Super fine tannins make their presence immediately known and carry the amaro flavours on an astonishingly long finish.


Vineyard: Hatwell Vineyard, Blewitt Springs
Farmed by: Matt Hatwell
Aspect: South East Facing
Altitude: 80m above sea level
Soil Type: Blanche Point Formation: Glauconitic, fossiliferous,

calerous siltstone over limestone. Soil Age: Up to 56 Million years Vines planted: 1943
Trellis: Bush on a wire Irrigation: No
Harvest Date: 22nd February, 2019 Tonnes Picked: 5.6 by hand

Fermentation: Open top stainless steel Management: Pump over three to six per day Time on Skins:13 days
Whole Bunch: 20%
Malolactic Fermentation: Yes
Vessel: 2800L old French oak vat & puncheon Racked: four times
Additions: SO2 at bottling
Bottling date: 12th December, 2020 Bottles produced: 3745

pH: 3.42 TA: 7.8 ALC: 14% Total SO2: 38ppm

Aromas: Brooding, the slow reveal - The full whack of summer fruits including cherry and pomegranate; bees wax candles, orange zest and delicate spice.

Flavours: Musk, raspberry compote, pomegranate molasses terracotta and nori. From the earth.

Texture: Bass notes: The soft entry is a ruse to the powerful and textured tannins that gradually unfold. The finish is a contradiction with delicate rose water and salivating length.

It's my hope that both wines are tried side by side in good company. This vintage I’m inspired by a classic dish of Navarin of Lamb - earthy root vegetables married with the sweetness of lamb cooked slowly in one pot Cellar with confidence for 10 years plus.

Winefront reviews by Gary Walsh

Posted on 8th July 2021


 SC Pannell Smart Grenache 2019

'Vineyard planted in 1956, up 230 metres above the level of the sea in Clarendon. Bush vines. Big old oak.

So exotic. So much spice and perfume. Cherry and berry pie, apricot, roast beef and roses. Juicy flavour, lots of spice, oranges, dense and tightly wound tannin, citrus peel and zesty tang to acidity, generous flavour but with a bony feel, very long with fresh raspberry and dried herb in the aftertaste. There’s a minor level of warmth here, but nothing of concern. Give it a little more time in bottle, and it will shine like a ruby.'

95 Points

SC Pannell Old McDonald Grenache 2019

'Vineyard planted in 1946, 80 metres above the sea in Blewitt Springs. Big old oak. 20% whole bunch.

Dark cherry, raspberry, liquorice root, clay, and sweet spice. Firm, dried rose perfumed and packed with ripe red fruits and cherry, plenty of stony tannin here, with a sort of pumice stone feel, serious yet charming. a cranberry freshness to acidity, and a long fragrant finish. Quite a wine!'

96 Points


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