2018 Protero Nebbiolo
The dynamics of tannin, first and foremost, drive all of Stephen’s red-winemaking decisions. Steve loves good Nebbiolo, and good Nebbiolo hinges on understanding tannin. Back in 2004, Stephen Pannell's family returned from Piedmont to find Nebbiolo growing in the northern Adelaide Hills. The vineyard, just outside Gumeracha, was planted by Rose and Frank Baldasso in 1999. Steve started working with the fruit in 2005.
In late December 2019 Fiona and Steve signed a contract for the Baldassos’ vineyard. It was planted to all the wrong varieties bar one: five clones of Nebbiolo. A week later, it was on fire, and only through the courage of others was Protero spared. Surrounded by brave people, the Pannells knew they too had to be courageous. To that end they removed Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Viognier and planted varieties they like drinking and believe in for the region: Barbera, Dolcetto, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling. They’re all well suited to the landscape, the region and in particular this place, Protero.
The label image is inspired by a Coptic Christian sigil – a good luck charm, basically, because as Stephen Pannell says, “We could all do with a little good luck”.
The inaugural release from the Protero Vineyard is everything Stephen Pannell had in mind: A pourable, slurpable Nebbiolo for everyone, anytime. It’s delicately floral and bursting with bright fruit, with beautifully integrated tannins that unfurl gently, plus lovely length and balance.
The Real Review
Pale brick-red colour, with a smoked-meat, charcuterie, dried mushroom and vanilla bouquet; pot pourri and milk chocolate, too. The bouquet is seriously fragrant and lovely: dried flowers and dried herbs, while the palate is medium-bodied and appealingly soft and supple, with gentle tannins and early drinkability. A very charming nebbiolo. It's arguably forward-developed, but the upside is it makes seriously delicious drinking without any waiting.
The Wine Front
Plum, baked strawberry and rhubarb, aniseed, dusty spices, mushroom and flowers. Medium-bodied, juicy red fruit with a spicy and earthy character, orange zest, fresh acidity, fine dusty tannin, and a zesty and amaro-laced finish of good length. Great drinking. Really hits the spot.
Gold medal, Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show 2020
Standard Bottle In Stock