2018 S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache McLaren Vale – Stephen’s interest in Grenache stretches back to the mid 90’s upon first arriving in McLaren Vale. A preference for making medium bodied wine lead him to Grenache and the love affair began. Given the warm, Mediterranean-climate, Grenache grows as well in McLaren Vale as any of the more revered Grenache regions including France’s Rhone Valley, Priorat in Spain and Italy’s Sardinia. It’s medium bodied nature also makes it ideal for our food, life style and climate.
It is unusual and rare to find 100% Grenache wines, as most of the time it is blended. Stephen has been making a varietal Grenache from McLaren Vale for the past 20 years and can now provocatively state that he thinks it ages more gracefully than McLaren Vale Shiraz. Grenache will become McLaren Vale’s most recognised wine and our true wine of place.
Simply stated, 2018 was a solid year. A vintage without extremes that was kind to both winemakers and vines alike. The fruit had lovely freshness and vivacity, the crops were of an average size and there was consistency throughout despite the dryness of the soil. Even the winemakers seemed to be enjoying themselves.
This is the second release from a 64-year-old, dry-grown, bush-vine vineyard, on the edge of the Clarendon township. The site was planted by Bernie Smart and is managed by his son Wayne. It features Saddleworth formation soils that are up to 750 million years old at an altitude of 230m above sea level. That makes it the highest Grenache vineyard in the Vale on the oldest soils.
Takes it’s time and slowly unfurls but once it has it’s another aroma onslaught: raspberry flavoured confectionary, woody herbs, boysenberry, licquorice and Crème de Violette. The pallet is fresh and vibrant and has an energy that is compelling. Finishes with a delicous amaro we have come to expect.
A tightly wound, interwoven fist-full of wine that releases a vitality and energy that makes this far more serious than the nose would have you believe. The tannins are ultra fine and sandy and finish the wine with a savoury lick.
Grenache generally has two distinct stages of aging. The primary stage lasts for two to three years and it is all about the fresh berry fruit characters. The wine should then go through a quieter stage where the nose closes down. It is during this time the wine develops secondary bottle aged characters. This can take from three to five years and is a difficult process to predict and entirely dependent on how the wine is stored. Ultimately, and with the right cellaring conditions, this Grenache can be kept for 20 years
Single Price: $70.00
Any Six Bottle Buy: $52.00
Price per case (12 bottles): $624.00