S.C. Pannell – Current Release

Reviewed:  28th September 2013

When Bill Pannell first established Moss Wood in the early 1970’s I am sure that not even he could predict the impact his family would have on the Australian wine industry.  After entrenching Moss Wood’s reputation, Bill went on to establish Picardy winery in Pemberton where he and his son Dan are producing world class wines.

Whilst Bill and Dan are household names in Western Australia, the fortunes of another Pannell winemaker are somewhat overlooked.  Steve Pannell (Bill’s son) was instrumental in producing some of the great wines of Hardy’s, where he was chief winemaker from 1999 – 2003.

S.C. Pannell was established in 2004 and produces an array of both Red and White wines.  These range in style from softer, more approachable (and affordable) wines to the serious and age-worthy.  Time prevented me from reviewing their white wines, so these will have to wait for another day and, perhaps, a trip to McLaren Vale.

The current release wines served to underscore the quality of the operation, with the 2011 reds demonstrating just how good wines from this vintage can be.

NB:  This was not a blind tasting.  My points are best used as a guide only.


S.C. Pannell – Grenache Blend – Tinto – 2011 (16.8).  This has a lovely, bright red colour that seems the perfect match to the floral fruit notes on the nose.  There is bright fruit on a palate that has cherry and hints of tar and spice.  Simple, easy to drink and food friendly.

S.C. Pannell – Tempranilo\Touriga – 2012 (17.3).  I like this a lot!  There is plenty of dense, ripe fruit that is succulent and deliciously juicy.  Long and sappy acid on the finish adds life.  Really good wine that would be a great mid-week wine served with a bowl of pasta.

S.C. Pannell – Shiraz – Adelaide Hills – Syrah – 2012 (17.7).  Spectacular red/purple colour.  Dense, tannic, ripe, chewy, long, lean, angular.  A wine of real potential, with lovely peppery fruit to close.  Fine, silky tannins are firm and plentiful.  A textural treat.

S.C. Pannell – Grenache/Shiraz – 2010 (17.7).  Gorgeous, fragrant and lifted red berry fruit on the nose, courtesy of the grenache.  The palate is flooded with redcurrant and spice, with silky, texturing oak and tannins.  Long and savoury, this will be best in 5 – 10 years, once it has had time to open up and evolve.

S.C. Pannell – Nebbiolo – 2008 (18).  The colour alone stands this apart from the rest of the range, tending to rusty orange at the rim.  A superb rendition of nebbiolo that is true to its Italian heritage, with hints of floral fruit and tar-like characters building on the finish.

S.C. Pannell – Grenache – 2011 (18).  The colour is fantastic.  There is ripe, perfumed fruit, though this is subdued and cloaked in structure.  The palate is powerful, ripe, and precise.  The tannins are silky and fine, while the oak is there primarily for texture.  Excellent length and mouth-feel.  This is a superb effort.

S.C. Pannell – Shiraz – 2011 (18.5).  Remarkably restrained and tight.  There is a density to the fruit on the nose, with the McLaren Vale fruit characters developing in the glass with air.  The palate is restrained and near seamless, with great precision and focus.  Again, the latent power starts to express itself as the wine opens in the glass and on the palate.  Near seamless, this is a wine that can be consumed now or any time to 2030.