2022 S.C. Pannell Smart Vineyard Grenache

Highly Rated
A powerhouse Grenache from 67-year-old bush vines in the high-altitude Clarendon region, and simply one Australia's finest Grenache year-in-year-out.
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
4 Reviews

Sale price$85.00
In stock, ready to ship

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This is the much-anticipated follow-up to our 2023 DD Wine of the Year, and it's another absolute beauty! 

The Smart Vineyard Grenache comes from the high-altitude Clarendon region of McLaren Vale and was established by the iconic McLaren Vale grape-growing figure Bernie Smart. The 67-year-old bush vines grow in 750 million-year-old soils of laminated dark and green siltstone at 230 meters above sea level, giving this wine remarkable depth, complexity and energy.

Stephen Pannell’s winemaking approach is all about showcasing the fruit. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented with 20% whole bunches. The wine undergoes regular pump overs in stainless steel before being aged in old French oak vats and puncheons. This minimal intervention allows the wine to reflect its unique terroir.

It's full of cherries, rhubarb, and raspberry, with nutty aromas and hints of red licorice and caramelized sugar. The palate is strong and vibrant, with a tannic structure that’s bold yet refined.

It's a firmer and more structured beast in 2022, but yet another outstanding release of one of our favourite Australian wines.  Get some while you can!

96 points
"From a wonderful old-vine site in Clarendon that stretches the possibilities of grenache. Wonderful stuff built for the cellar."
- Ned Goodwin (James Suckling)

2022 Vintage

The second year of the current La Nina cycle saw a wild, wet winter and spring followed by a mild summer and a dry autumn. Veraison was two weeks behind normal, setting winemakers' teeth on edge. All were keen to get into vintage but were forced to wait, which made for some very clean wineries prior to harvest. Poor flowering due to wild spring weather including high winds, frost and hail led to lower than desired yields. Quality was good due to the long, slow ripening period. Whites retained great acidity and
reds developed depth of flavour and complex tannins. A vintage to watch!

Hand harvested on the 16th of March and immediately crushed. Fermented in one stainless steel open top fermenter with regular pump overs, 20% whole bunch. Left on skins for 10 days before a gentle press. Settled in tank for 24 days before transfer to an old French oak vat and
two puncheons for malolactic fermentation and extended maturation. Racked twice and bottled without fining, filtration, additions, or adjustment on the 6th September 2023.

Alcohol 14%.
3.23 pH.
Total Sulphur 53ppm.

Flavour Profile: Luxardo, cherry pits, rhubarb, raspberry, and nutty aromas present as a big truck loaded with flavour and headed for your palate without so much as a warning toot of the horn. Reluctant to describe our Grenache as Pinot-like, this vintage sees us reaching for descriptors
that remind us of Pomard: red liquorice, caramelising sugar in a hot pan, and rose water.

Structure & Texture: Hits the palate with force and then flexes its tannins like a Venice Beach bodybuilder. It's a big whack of flavour and texture all at once, with an addictive energy that carries past the back palate before revealing a subtle wave of musk flavours - all without losing sight of a medium-bodied focus.

Cellaring: Many, many years of ageing potential, try 20+.

96 points - "An excellent vintage, low yielding, cool and attenuated. Scents of spiced Damson plums, wood, berries, graphite and almond husks, with iron notes and tannins in the long, streamlined finish. From a wonderful old-vine site in Clarendon that stretches the possibilities of grenache. Wonderful stuff built for the cellar." - Ned Goodwin (James Suckling)

95 points - "While the 2022 season seems to have had it all, rain, wind, hail, late flowering, frost, the resulting Pannell grenache wines seem to find great balance even though they seem a little riper, sweet-hearted and softer than some of the previous vintages. This Smart grenache comes, of course, from the Smart vineyard in Clarendon – near 70 year old bush vines grown on siltstone. A portion (20%) of whole bunch makes a mark, lifting things nicely. It feels like a year for S.C. Pannell to lean into whole bunches. Ten days on skins. Really attractive perfume of alpine herbs, almost genepy-like amaro character, sour cherry, faint maraschino cherry, cranberry and rose hip tea. The palate has a good sinewy bite around the more juicy, ripe red and black cherry flavours, some pomegranate juice notes, straight raspberry, more rose hip tea and a dose of Indian fennel candy character too. It’s kind of exotic, in the best sense, but all the elements play superbly together and it feels bright and fresh. Over medium weight, just, with building pucker of Italianate tannin. This is the pick of the 2022s for me, at a pinch, perhaps, but the one I want to drink the most of with its intrigue and complexity on show." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)

Customer Reviews

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
Based on 4 reviews
Total 5 star reviews: 4 Total 4 star reviews: 0 Total 3 star reviews: 0 Total 2 star reviews: 0 Total 1 star reviews: 0
4 reviews
  • DF
    David F.
    Verified Buyer
    Wine Knowledge Level Enthusiast
    3 months ago
    Wine Knowledge Level Enthusiast
    2021 S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache
    2021 S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Fantastic Grenache from a stellar year

    Very clean and persistent flavours.A very stylish wine

  • CS
    C/- S W.
    Verified Buyer
    Wine Knowledge Level Cork Dork
    3 years ago
    Wine Knowledge Level Cork Dork
    2021 S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache
    2021 S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Exquisite, top order Grenache

    The perfumed, raspberry sorbet nose captivated me instantly, the precision-tension palate confirmed the deal. Overshadowed the excellent MacDonald’s Grenache.

  • RT
    Rena T.
    Verified Buyer
    Wine Knowledge Level Enthusiast
    3 years ago
    Wine Knowledge Level Enthusiast
    2021 S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache
    2021 S.C. Pannell Smart Grenache
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    SC Pannell Grenache

    So smooth it can't be legal! Wonderful drinking now, I can't cellar this! Help!

Reviews LoadedReviews Added

S.C. Pannell

Quite simply, Stephen 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 come from a range of stunning McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills vineyards, and are made from sustainable varieties that properly suit his South Australian climate. They're built around brightness of fruit and savoury tannin structure, and whatever your poison is Steve has you covered!

He is truly one of the most forward-thinking and inspirational Australian winemakers alive today.

Visionary winemaker Stephen Charles Pannell Discover S.C. Pannell

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