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S.C.Pannell Basso Garnacha

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Producer Information

Stephen Pannell has gone from being one of the best and brightest of the new generation of Australian winemakers to being one of the most lauded of all Australian winemakers in a very short space of time. He is a two-time winner of the fabled Jimmy Watson Trophy, the most prestigious wine award in Australia, given annually to the producer of the best one-year-old dry red wine at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show. He has won the top gong at the Alternative Varietals Wine Show three out of the past five years, and in 2015 won the McLaren Vale Wine Show’s Bushing King for the second time. Stephen moved into his own winery in McLaren Vale in 2014, and now owns 36 hectares of vineyard. This control over his fruit has enabled him to take quality to an even higher level.

One of the prime factors behind his success is the freshness in all his wines, something he achieves by picking earlier. “I can only pick early due to better viticulture”, he says. He is looking for the varietal ‘stamp’ rather than ‘varietal character’ in his wines, hence his move to blends such as the Grenache/Shiraz/Touriga, where the sum is greater than the component parts. And because of this fresher ‘stamp’, he is looking to reduce the oak influence in his wines and has, like many of the best producers, moved to larger, more neutral oak.

It is difficult to pick out a star among his wines. A new addition to our portfolio is Stephen’s ‘Fi Fi’ Fiano. One of Italy’s oldest cultivars, the variety is very well suited to McLaren Vale’s warm dry summers and proximity to the coast, imparting an ozone nuance to this fresh, complex white. The early-release ‘Basso’ Garnacha is unfiltered, with low sulphur, for drinking in its youth. The Grenache/Shiraz/Touriga has brilliant colour and is fresh and lifted on the nose with soft, supple tannins on the palate. When asked about the Tempranillo/Touriga blend, Stephen explains, “he more I work with Touriga, the bigger a part of this blend it becomes.”

Vineyards

The idea for an early release, low sulphur, unfiltered Grenache had been bubbling away for a few years. Finally, in 2017, access to fruit from the right vineyard in Blewitt Springs: dry grown and pruned to single-bud spurs, sparked the Basso project in to life. The vineyard, planted in the late 1970s, lies at 80 metres above sea level on sandy loams over clays. From the Latin Bassus, meaning low, Basso is low in additions and speaks clearly of the place from which it comes.

Vinification

The grapes were hand picked at 13.7 Baume. Fermentation took place in open top fermenters with daily pump overs. The grapes spent 10 days on skins before gentle pressing. After undergoing malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged for ten months in large, old French oak vats. The wine was racked twice before bottling, without filtration, on the 8th of February 2021.

Tasting Notes

Raspberry liqueur, red apple skin, dark spice and cinnamon make for a vibrant, seductive perfume. The palate follows through with fresh blue and red berry fruit. Youthful and medium bodied, with super fine tea-like tannins that carry red fruits on the finish.

Grapes

Garnacha,

Production

The idea for an early release, low sulphur, unfiltered Grenache had been bubbling away for a few years. Finally, in 2017, access to fruit from the right vineyard in Blewitt Springs: dry grown and pruned to single-bud spurs, sparked the Basso project in to life. The vineyard, planted in the late 1970s, lies at 80 metres above sea level on sandy loams over clays. From the Latin Bassus, meaning low, Basso is low in additions and speaks clearly of the place from which it comes.

The grapes were hand picked at 13.7 Baume. Fermentation took place in open top fermenters with daily pump overs. The grapes spent 10 days on skins before gentle pressing. After undergoing malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged for ten months in large, old French oak vats. The wine was racked twice before bottling, without filtration, on the 8th of February 2021.

Tasting Notes

Raspberry liqueur, red apple skin, dark spice and cinnamon make for a vibrant, seductive perfume. The palate follows through with fresh blue and red berry fruit. Youthful and medium bodied, with super fine tea-like tannins that carry red fruits on the finish.

What our staff say

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