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Entire volumes have been written on Steve Pannell's influence on the Australian Wine industry. His remarkable trophy room is a testament to his place in the industry. Much of his success of the last couple of decades stems from his deep love of his home region, McLaren Vale. 'The Vale' is Steve's ode to his home. He describes it better than anyone else could: "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 Shiraz Grenache is our 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 Vale in essence, taste and character." With old vine fruit, only subtle oak use and co-fermentation of the two varieties this is concentrated, energetic and perfectly balanced all at once. 95 points from James Halliday, and a gorgeous red wine that really epitomises what Steve Pannell and his McLaren Vale home are all about.
What it Tastes Like
The funny thing about this blend is that on the nose it is quite easy to identify the different contributions of the Shiraz and Grenache - pepper and black fruits from the former and vibrant, candied red fruits from the latter. It's a lovely bouquet. On the palate however, I can only guess due to the co-fermentation of the varieties, the two grapes are seamlessly integrated into one. It's incredibly silky and textural, with waves of fresh berries and mixed spices. The oak is, as ever with Steve's wines, understated, with fine tannins aiding the finish. Balance, balance, balance!
95 points. "A shiraz grenache blend, the grapes from old vines. The colour is vivid and deep, its promise fully realised with this medium-bodied+ blend; it exudes a sense of place, yet does so without the usual garnish of dark chocolate, giving the fruit a larger field to play in; red and black cherry, soused raspberry, and supple, generous tannins have been exactly measured." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) Gold Medal - 2015 Royal Adelaide Wine Show
“For me this is the classic McLaren Vale blend and it smells and tastes like home. Shiraz from McLaren Vale is rich, dense and thick; I blend Grenache with it to temper and control the beast. Grenache is highly perfumed, lighter in body and more tannic than Shiraz and its gritty sandy tannins are beautiful.” Aromatics: 4 / 5 Profile: blackberry, raspberry, musk, licorice, star anise, seaweed and rust Body: medium to full bodied Tannin: moderate tannins that are intertwined into the finished and savoury gritty end Texture: velvety and plush Goes with: duck, anything on the grill and cheese Drink: now until 2025 Listen to: True Faith, Singles by New Order Gold Medal: Royal Adelaide Wine Show
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Quite simply, Steven Pannell is one of Australia’s finest and most imaginative winemakers. He’s a Jimmy Watson Trophy winner, a McLaren Vale Bushing King winner, a two-time Max Schubert Trophy winner, International Red Winemaker of the Year and Decanter Magazine’s 50 Most Influential Contributors to the World of Wine. Nick Stock described him as potentially “one of the greatest Australian winemakers ever to make wines in our age”.
Steve’s wines are made with modern Australian food and wine culture at the front of mind. The wines, such as his lauded Tempranillo Touriga blend, defy convention but place freshness and versatility front and centre. He is truly one of the most forward thinking and inspirational Australian winemakers alive today.
The South Australian region of McLaren Vale is famous for its powerful red wines. Shiraz and Grenache have thrived for years in the Vale’s sandy soils. Nowadays, the region’s varietal diversity has majorly increased, the coastal location and warm climate proving perfect for a new wave of varieties from Italy, Spain and Portugal. The success of varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, and Fiano has transformed McLaren Vale into one of the country’s most vibrant wine scenes. It’s where tradition meets innovation and it is producing some of the Australia’s finest wines.
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