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S.C. Pannell


‘Dead End’

Tempranillo   |   McLaren Vale - Australia


Steve feels himself fortunate to be sourcing his Tempranillo from some of the oldest plantings in McLaren Vale, up to twenty years of age. The quality of these grapes in their warming region has given him the faith to continue pursuing this straight varietal and to plant more at their Amery Road vineyard. Iberian varietals are ideally suited to McLaren Vale’s climate, and this wine is a perfect example of what’s possible with Tempranillo. 2019 was a winemaker’s vintage with every scrap of experience tested and measured. Lower than average winter rainfall set up for a dry growing season resulting in dramatically reduced yields. McLaren Vale wasn’t the worst hit; that would be the Adelaide Hills, with some varieties down by 50%. In low yield years acidity is generally good setting the resulting wines up for stability and long lives.

Both parcels were picked in early March and then crushed and kept separate. They spent 10 days on skins, with gentle pressing before being sent to small oak barrels in mid-April to complete malolactic fermentation. The Blewitt springs parcel was matured in French oak puncheon and the McLaren Vale parcel in 2800l vat. The wine was blended in January 2020 and bottled in late February, without fining or filtering and a small sulfur addition.


  • Grapes: 100% Tempranillo
  • Vineyard: McMurtrie Rd Vineyard and a single site in Blewitt Springs
  • Vine Age: 20-years-old
  • Soil Type: Clay - sand - gravel
  • Viticulture: Sustainable
  • Fermentation: Pied de cuve (inoculated with wild yeast starter) – stainless-steel
  • Skin Contact: 10 days
  • Aging: 11 months in French oak puncheons (Blewitt Springs portion) and one 28hL vat (McMurtrie Rd portion)
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • pH: 3.89
  • Total Acidity: 5.4 g/L
  • Total SO2: 52 ppm
  • Total Production: 2250 cases
  • UPC: None

Tasting Notes

This is signature Tempranillo from the get-go! Red fruits, leaf litter, cola, and dark spice: allspice and cardamon. The palate melds into the aromas then throws black cherry, sarsaparilla, and dark chocolate into the mix. The palate is medium bodied, slurpy deliciousness. An immediate fruit entry of cherry and earth leads to tannins that ride the fruit wave giving length and line to the finish. The oak has a gentle part to play and stands shoulder to shoulder with the fruit.

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