Stephen Pannell certainly ruffled a few industry feathers last summer with his controversial 'All For One Wine' project. Now that the dust has settled, I do hope Stephen's positive intentions didn't put anyone off his own label, because it's easily one of the most exciting brands to come out of South Australia in recent years.
Lifted by a sweet, musky fragrance of rose petals, nutmeg and cinnamon, with its ground scents laid out by leathery/tarry suggestions of cherries and orange rind, S.C. Pannell's 2007 appears a typically alluring, attractively earthy Australian nebbiolo of the simultaneously feminine and masculine style. Neither oak nor flamboyant ripeness obscures its varietal integrity (although it is perhaps a shade ripe to be exceptional), which allows the palate to gently release an understated, elegant texture, supported by the earthy, meaty, sour-edged cherry notes and the fine, firm, crunchy backbone that nebbiolo lovers obsess over. Its structure isn't actually as physically imposing as one might expect, but its tight acid/tannin balance remains bright as a spring day, pulling the wine together like a level playing field to reveal a long, rustic finish of some class, with sour-edged accents and a taste of meat providing the final impression.
ü+ I wouldn't go as far as to say S.C. Pannell's 2007 is a brilliant nebbiolo, but it is a true, artful nebbiolo, and outstanding value for money at that. Like most things nebbiolo, it's left me in a pleasant state of intrigue, basically aching for more. Drink to 2019.