Vintage: 2021

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2021SP119A2112 x 75ScrewcapAvailable
Vegetarian
Vegan
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 Field Street Shiraz is made from fruit sourced from vineyards that surround the estate's Oliver Road home. In every sense this wine is at the heart of the S.C. Pannell label. This wine is stripped back from the artifice of winemaking to express the purity and breadth of McLaren Vale Shiraz.

Vintage

The 2021 season in McLaren Vale started with significant rainfall throughout September and October, leading to the wettest spring since 2016. This was followed by a warmer than average November which pushed flowering through quickly. December and January were mild (both below the long-term mean) and the absence of extreme heat (only a short heatwave in January), meant that the vines remained healthy and hydrated. Rain in late January and early February boosted soil moisture but wasn’t enough to cause disease pressure. Veraison was later than average and along with a mild and dry March, contributed to a longer and slower ripening period.

Vinification

The grapes were harvested between the 23rd of February and the 3rd of March 2021, in two batches. Fermentation took place in open top fermenters with daily pump overs, each with 14 days on skins before gentle pressing. The wine was blended and settled in tank before being transferred to oak vats for malolactic fermentation. Matured in new 9000L French Oak vat and old French oak puncheons, then racked three times and bottled without fining or filtration in May 2022.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

On the nose are aromas of blackberry, cinnamon, pomegranate mollases with hints of fresh fig and raspberry. Fresh, vibrant aromas and flavours dance across the palate. Medium bodied, tight mid-palate with a long delicate finish.

Alcohol (ABV)

14%

Acidity

6.3 g/l

Residual Sugar

1.54 g/l

pH

3.48

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
Adelaide Hills NebbioloSP105
R
Red
Factsheet
`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
`Basso` McLaren Vale GarnachaSP120
R
Red
Factsheet
`Fi Fi` McLaren Vale FianoSP126
W
White
Factsheet