Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2018 edition panel review of Australian Shiraz (see blue link below).
SC Pannell Adelaide Hills Syrah 2015 - July 2018 Decanter review
Stephen Pannell is one of the best and brightest of the new generation of Australian winemakers, having spent a decade working as chief red wine maker at Hardys before striking out on his own in 2004. Steve has worked all over the world, including in Italy with Aldo Vajra in Barolo and in France for Domaine Dujac and Pousse d'Or. His broad experience has helped shape his approach to winemaking and his wines are true expressions of the grapes and vineyards of McLaren Vale. In October 2015, Steve was named Winemaker of the Year by the consumer wine magazine, Gourmet Traveller Wine.
This cool climate Syrah was sourced from Echunga, 410m above sea level in the Southern Adelaide Hills. The fruit is grown on well-drained, granitic soil. It is called Syrah instead of the traditional Shiraz to stop confusion and pay homage to the style of wine it makes in the Northern Rhone Valley of France where it originates from.
The vineyard is contour planted and is hand harvested in sections progressively through the vintage as each part matures. The 2 varieties were crushed together as the co-fermentation results in a wine with better integration and complexity. No enzyme or yeast was added to the ferment. Temperatures were maintained between a minimum of 15°C and a maximum of 35°C. Fermentation length was 12 days and during this time the cap was hand plunged and pumped over to ensure gentle tannin extraction. 20% new French oak was used. The wine was matured for 18 months in 500 litre oak barrels and racked twice during this time.
Highly perfumed, vibrant and complex with prominent black forest fruits, fresh peppercorns, and dried herbs. There is a lovely tension between the power and control of palate with heaps of juicy black fruit and a measure of peppery spice woven into a juicy silky texture and gently integrated dry, earthy tannins on the finish.