2022 S.C. Pannell Single Vineyard Grenache

Stephen Pannell: The Grenache Guru

“Growing grapes and making wine are simple tasks compared to naming a place. Particularly if that place is as significant as our vineyard in the heart of Blewitt Springs. Ancient geology and old vines aside, we are the custodians of nine hectares we believe set a new standard for McLaren Vale Grenache. It’s a bold claim but we are excited by what we have seen; we need a name as meaningful as the wines made.

Those close to me know that Fiona has always been my greatest supporter and ally. She encouraged me to follow my instincts and leave Hardy’s to make wine in Italy and start our own labels. We stood side by side when launching S.C.Pannell, which was never meant to be more than a few cases of wine. And she has sung my praises to all who will listen and backed me up when few believed that we must change the varieties we grow to survive a changing climate, no matter the cost.

Very few, however, realise the level of support and care afforded me by Fiona’s family, especially her parents Malcolm and Antoinette Lindquist, who’s belief in our dreams has been unwavering. It’s fitting then to honour the people who have been there for me. Lindquist is a Swedish name and translates to ‘Linden twig’. With a fragment of creative licence, we have taken the translation and named our Blewitt Springs Grenache vineyard ‘Little Branch’. The first release is included and sits side by side with the 2022 Smart Grenache and 2022 Old McDonald Grenache. Our Grenache has a home.” – Stephen Pannell

2022 S.C. Pannell ‘Little Branch’ Grenache $85 RRP

This is an impactful grenache made by somebody who prizes Italian wines. The tannins are an immense force field, with kirsch, strawberries and dried Mediterranean herbs, and a note of almond husk that gives noble bitterness. The density, poise and grace are thoroughly impressive. This is a structured grenache built for the cellar. Drinkable now, but best from 2027. 97 points. Ned Goodwin MW, JamesSuckling.com March 2024

2022 S.C. Pannell ‘Smart Vineyard’ Grenache $85 RRP

An excellent vintage, low yielding, cool and attenuated. Scents of spiced Damson plums, wood, berries, graphite and almond husks, with iron notes and tannins in the long, streamlined finish. From a wonderful old-vine site in Clarendon that stretches the possibilities of grenache. Wonderful stuff built for the cellar. 96 points. Ned Goodwin MW, JamesSuckling.com March 2024

2022 S.C. Pannell ‘Old McDonald’ Grenache $85 RRP

This is a chunky, earthy expression of grenache in this exceptional vintage. Notes of pickled ginger, tamarind and dark cherries. Hints of moss and iodine across the forceful, slightly drying finish. This is an immense wine, typical of the style that defines the region, which produces some of the very finest expressions of grenache in the world. Drinkable now, but best from 2027. 95 points. Ned Goodwin MW, JamesSuckling.com March 2024