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S.C. Pannell


‘The Vale’

Red Blend   |   McLaren Vale - Australia


The truly wondrous thing about wine is that speaks of where it comes from. All true wine has a local accent – something distinct and unmistakable that helps you place it in an instant. This old vine Grenache Shiraz is a wine of place and it couldn’t come from anywhere else but ‘The Vale’. The blend is something altogether more than the sum of its two parts – it is the McLaren Vale in essence. The Grenache comes from the 70+-year-old gnarly Old McDonald Vineyard and the Shiraz from Steve’s Koomilya estate.  2017 was a very cool, mild and stress-free vintage for vines, but not necessarily for Steve.  Good winter and spring rains were followed by a very mild, long summer. There is really great natural acidity to this vintage with just ripe fruit accompanying it.

Both varieties were hand-harvested and co-fermented without any additions in open-top stainless-steel tanks.  Around one-quarter of the fruit was kept intact and manual hand plunging was used for optimum extraction.  After 10 days on the skins and stems, the lot was pressed to old French puncheons for maturation.  Following seven months on the fine lees the barrels were racked to large 28hL French foudre with a small sulfur addition to finish aging.  Another seven months passed and the two puncheons were blended to tank where the wine settled naturally.  It was bottled without fining or filtration and with a small dose of sulfur.


  • Grapes: 74% Grenache - 26% Shiraz
  • Vineyard: Old McDonald Vineyard (Grenache) - Koomilya Vineyard (Shiraz)
  • Vine Age: 74-years-old (Grenache) - 46-years-old (Shiraz)
  • Soil Type: Deep granitic sand over ironstone (Grenache) - Ironstone gravel (Koomilya)
  • Viticulture: Practicing organic – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – stainless-steel (co-fermented - 30% whole-cluster)
  • Skin Contact: 10 days
  • Aging: 7 months in seasoned 300L French tonneau followed by 7 months in a seasoned 28hL French oak foudre
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • pH: 3.66
  • Total Acidity: 6 g/L
  • Total SO2: 54 ppm
  • Total Production: 368 cases

Tasting Note

The perfumed musk and red fruits of the Grenache lift the rich black fruits and spice of the Shiraz. A complex and integrated nose, with plum, nutmeg, clove, and musk. These two varieties unite to achieve a seamless medium bodied wine with a silky texture. The Grenache controls the mid-palate exuberance of the Shiraz and provides great length. Tightly wound, coiled and brooding. Long mouth-watering tannins.

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