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S.C. Pannell


“Old McDonald”

Grenache   |   McLaren Vale - Australia


Grenache is the McLaren Vale grape Steve is most fond of and in all of its iterations globally, so long as the wine does the grape justice. What does that mean? Treat Grenache like Pinot Noir and not Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon, pick it a bit early, very light working of the ferment and moderate skin contact. The ‘Old McDonald Vineyard’ is a revered Grenache site in the foothills of Blewitt Springs. The gnarly 75-year-old vines bring a great deal of intensity to the wine already, so the winemaking is almost about taming it.

There was plenty of rain from 2016 winter that carried into the growing season for the ’17 harvest. A very cool, mild and stress-free vintage for vines, not winemakers! Good winter and spring rains were followed by a very mild, long summer. The results are wines with ample fruit complexity and great natural acidity. Most important however is the delicious fruit freshness and balance. The grapes were hand-harvested, partially crushed (20% were left whole cluster) and vinified with native yeasts in small open-top fermenters. After 11 days on skins it was gently pressed to a 20-year-old 4,500L French oak vat to mature. It was sulfured around the six-month mark


  • Grapes: 100% Grenache
  • Vineyard: Old McDonald Vineyard (Blewitt Springs)
  • Vine Age: 75-years-old - bushvines
  • Soil Type: Deep granitic sand over ironstone
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic - dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – Stainless Steel (20% whole-bunch)
  • Skin Contact: 11 days
  • Aging: 14 months in a single 8-year-old 45hL French foudre
  • pH: 3.62
  • Total Acidity: 5.7 g/L
  • Total SO2: 60 ppm
  • Total Production: 350 cases

Tasting Note

“If Old McDonald had a farm, it was probably in the Tintara winery sometime in the last century (wine people joke, I guess), but now, this beautiful wine comes from 75 year old bush vines. There’s no question that Grenache is the flagship grape of the McLaren Vale. It continues to rise as it becomes more sensitively grown, and as importantly, vinified.It’s pretty, kind of rosy in perfume, a little bit juicy, but also dry and beautifully structured. There’s fine insistent tannin giving it shape and texture, almost to Nebbiolo character with its gentle brick dust grip, red fruit and cherry, a layer of spice, new leather and scrub herb, and a long cool, composed finish. Flat out beautiful. Succulence with a serious nature. Bravo.”
– Gary Walsh