South Australia, south australia Australia

Koomilya is the name of a 12 hectare vineyard at the end of Amery Road in the heart of McLaren Vale, purchased several years ago by Stephen Pannell. "When I was at Hardy’s, the fruit we got off this vineyard was superb, and one of the wines I made from it won the Jimmy Watson Trophy [at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show], so I jumped at the opportunity of buying it when it came up," he explains. First planted in the late 1800s, the combination of unusually sandy soils and old vine fruit give an aromatic lift to the wines, setting them apart from the crowd.

We are convinced that Koomilya will quickly become one of Australia’s most sought-after vineyards. “The wines illustrate what I‘m hoping modern McLaren Vale wine will be, which harks back to a tradition of what it looked like in the 1960s, without all the artifice of winemaking,” says Stephen. Above all, the wines really convey a sense of place.

The ‘DC Block’ Shiraz is the most tannic wine Stephen makes. Open-top fermentation and a long maceration gives a wine with finely woven, tightly knit tannins that carry the intense fruit through the palate. This wine is elegant and powerful, with superb length. The ‘JC Block’ Shiraz, harvested four days later and spending four days longer on skins, has lower alcohol, higher acidity and softer, silkier tannins.


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