Vintage: 2016

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2016SP105B166 x 75ScrewcapContact Us
Producer

In a very short space of time, Stephen Pannell has gone from being one of Australia’s best and brightest young talents to one of their most lauded winemakers.

He is a two-time winner of the fabled Jimmy Watson Trophy, the most prestigious wine award in Australia, and also won the top prize at the Alternative Varietals Wine Show three out of the last five years. Stephen moved into his own McLaren Vale winery in 2014, and now owns 36 hectares of vineyard. This control over his fruit has enabled him to take quality to an even higher level.

One of the key factors behind his success is the freshness in all his wines, something he achieves by picking earlier. “I can only pick early due to better viticulture”, he says. He is looking for the varietal ‘stamp’ rather than ‘varietal character’ in his wines, causing him to create blends such as the Grenache/Shiraz/Touriga, where the sum is greater than the parts. Because of this fresher ‘stamp’, he is also actively reducing oak influence in his wines by moving to larger, more neutral oak vessels.

It is difficult to pick out just one star among his wines. The early release ‘Basso’ Garnacha is unfiltered, with low sulphur, for drinking in its youth. The Grenache/Shiraz/Touriga has brilliant colour and is fresh and lifted on the nose with soft, supple tannins on the palate. When asked about the Tempranillo/Touriga blend, Stephen explains, “the more I work with Touriga, the bigger a part of this blend it becomes.

The ‘Dead End’ Tempranillo is perfumed and juicy with well-integrated tannins, backing up Stephen’s belief that Iberian grape varieties are ideally suited to McLaren Vale. ‘The Vale’ is an old-vine Grenache/Shiraz blend made from over 70-year-old vines, with rich black fruits on the palate and a silky texture. Like all of Stephen’s wines, the ‘Field Street’ Shiraz is made with minimal intervention and therefore faithfully expresses the purity and breadth of McLaren Vale Shiraz. The ‘FiFi’ Fiano, named after Stephen’s wife, is as exciting as it is delicious. It has a beautiful textural quality, with aromas and flavours of white nectarine, pink grapefruit, lemongrass and honeysuckle.

The ‘Smart’ Clarendon Grenache hails from McLaren Vale’s highest Grenache vineyard (230 metres above sea level), planted on its oldest soils (up to 750 million years old). Here, the dry-grown bush vines produce a richly perfumed, elegant wine with ripe red berry freshness, violets and grainy tannins. This is a beautiful counterpoint to the more powerful, structured, juicy dark fruits and savoury character of the ‘Old McDonald’ McLaren Vale Grenache from Blewitt Springs. Both wines show Grenache’s great potential for site expression in McLaren Vale and, says Stephen, “its place in the line-up of the world’s great varietal wines.”

Vineyards

The eighth release of S.C. Pannell's Nebbiolo, this is a blend of five different clones from a certified biodynamic vineyard in Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills. Lying at almost 400 metres above sea level, the soils are composed of greatly weathered Proterozoic stone that formed over a billion years ago.

Vintage

The 2016 vintage was a vintage of two distinct halves. Winter and spring were exceptionally warm and dry, with irrigation required much earlier in the season than average. A number of rainstorms quickly changed everything, making 2016 one of the wettest and mildest ripening periods on record. The red wines from 2016 are tannic and not dissimilar in to those from 1996 and 2006, promising great ageing potential.

Vinification

Grapes were hand-harvested in late March and traditionally vinified in small open-top fermenters. Gently pressed off skins after 23 days, the wine completed malolactic fermentation in stainless steel before being transferred to old Hungarian oak puncheons and large vats for 14 months. The decision to press made purely on taste gives a very different tannin profile, winding them from the center of the mouth through to the very back palate.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

Highly perfumed with notes of red cherry, rosewater, fennel bulb, cassis, chestnut puree and marjoram along with terracotta tiles and cedar. Medium-bodied, this Nebbiolo is unashamedly tannic with an almost unrivalled balance of acid and flavour, perfect weight and a tremendously long finish.

Alcohol (ABV)

14%

Acidity

5.6 g/l

pH

3.83

Other wines from this producer

Producer
Wine
Product Code
Features
Style
S.C. Pannell`The Vale` McLaren Vale Grenache/ShirazSP102
Vegetarian
Vegan
R
Red
Factsheet
`Smart Vineyard` Clarendon GrenacheSP103
R
Red
`Old McDonald` Blewitt Springs McLaren Vale GrenacheSP109
Vegetarian
Vegan
Practising Organic
R
Red
Factsheet
Adelaide Tempranillo/TourigaSP110
Vegetarian
Vegan
R
Red
Factsheet
McLaren Vale Grenache/Shiraz/TourigaSP115
Vegetarian
Vegan
R
Red
Adelaide Hills SyrahSP116
Vegetarian
Vegan
R
Red
Factsheet
`Dead End` McLaren Vale TempranilloSP118
Vegetarian
Vegan
R
Red
`Field Street` McLaren Vale ShirazSP119
Vegetarian
Vegan
R
Red
Factsheet
`Basso` McLaren Vale GarnachaSP120
R
Red
Factsheet
`Fi Fi` McLaren Vale FianoSP126
W
White
Factsheet