Sunday, October 30, 2011


- McLaren Vale, SA
- $42-$58
- Screwcap
- 14.5%alc

S.C. Pannell Grenache is a real buzz wine at the moment, racking up high praise from practically anyone fortunate enough to encounter one. Following on from his award winning 2009, Stephen Pannell's 2010 just won 'Best Grenache' at the McLaren Vale Wine Show, making it back to back local victories for this emerging classic.

Softly perfumed, with a vivaciously ripened yet beautifully controlled, wildly open aroma of earthy redcurrants, kirsch, prunes, blueberries, cloves and cinnamon gently backed by older oak, the multi-faceted nose of S.C. Pannell's 2009 Grenache displays a complex combination of pinot-like graciousness with McLaren Vale intensity and sweet fruit. All its elements sing in harmony, with no one trying to steal the show, as it literally revels in the warmth of its season. Its palate is just so soft, silky and unforced, with an ethereal suppleness rare in Australian grenache, yet throughout the movement its gritty, rustic accent of juicy, jammy forest berry flavours are equally checked by an ultra-fine coverage of dry, bony tannins, which deliver the wine to a fine, persistent finish of outstanding focus, marked by both sweet fruit and savoury aspects. It's pointless to pick a high point here; texture, structure, length, impeccable oak handling, they're all winners. Basically, she's downright sexy and about as good as McLaren Vale grenache gets.

ü+ It's eminently justifiable consecutive Stephen Pannell wines have won two straight McLaren Vale grenache trophies, because this increasingly popular style might've just unearthed its new champion. World class. The modern face of traditional McLaren Vale? Drink to 2021.
96 points


  1. Certainly the best Australian Grenache I've ever tasted. Look forward to trying one in ten or so years time.

  2. I'd have to agree JP.

    I was at The Ed on the weekend (who actually sponsor and own the naming rights to the Grenache Trophy at the McLaren Vale Wine Show), where they've just released the 2010. I thought, I should at least drink that 09 I've got on the rack before I buy one of these...

    Clearly I have to make my way back there to buy a 2010...

    Chris P

  3. Should be a beautiful wine the 2010 as the season was brilliant.

  4. Very true Mr Tuckfield. If it's any better a wine than the 2009. . .