What on earth is happening at SC Pannell? Apparently, Stephen Pannell is over Shiraz (I did not have a chance to talk to him). A Shiraz vineyard next to the tasting room has been ripped out, and is being replaced by Grenache. Ok. In front of the winery, alternative varieties have been planted, and the resulting wines come from very young vines. I was interested to try some of these.
The 2019 Nero d'Avola is very broad and fruity, tasting of dark cherry (86 points). The 2018 Aglianico delivers plum fruit and earthy notes on the back of strong acidity(87 points). The 2019 Touriga from Langhorne has a more interesting profile, with violets on opening, moving to dark fruit and plum pudding. There are spices and licorice (88 points).
The two best wines from the 'new breed' were the 2019 Montepulciano, a fruit forward and juicy wine, boysenberry flavours sit on the front palate of this not very tannic wine. The balance is good (90 points). The 2018 Nebbiolo shows restrained cherry character and some leather. Again the structure is good (91 points).
On to the Grenaches. The 2018 Old McDonald Grenache includes whole bunch and is matured in large oak barrells. The wine has a rusty colour. There is fruit confectionary on the palate and earthy notes (89 points). The star of the tasting is the 2018 Smart Grenache from the highly regarded sandy Smart vineyard. The colour of this wine is much darker. The purity of the fruit stands out. Aromatic and lifted characters linger on (93 points).
The jewel in the crown of SC Pannell is the Koomilya vineyard. The labels of these wines are very different. These are more serious wines suitable for ageing.