Stephen Pannell grew up in the wine industry as a member of the family which founded Moss Wood in 1967. Stephen's extensive knowledge and experience has been garnered over the years from his work with many of Australia's best wineries (including Wirra Wirra, Hardy's Tintara and BRL Hardy where he was Chief Red Winemaker from 1999 to 2003) and numerous vintages overseas at such places as Domaine des Comtes Lafon in Burgundy, Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux and G.D.Vajra in Barolo. Other highlights in Stephen's career include winning the title of International Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London, winning the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, twice winning the Max Schubert Trophy at the Adelaide Wine Show as well as being listed as one of the 50 most influential contributors to the world of wine by Decanter Magazine.
100% Grenache from 75-year-old vines from the Old McDonald vineyard in Blewitt Springs. Perfect bunches were hand-harvested on 4th March, early for Grenache. Traditionally vinified in small open-top fermenters with 20% whole bunches. Eleven days on skins before gentle pressing. Transferred to a 4500-litre, eight-year-old French-oak vat for maturation before being bottled without filtration nine months later.
Powerful, insistently and delightfully tannic Grenache. It falls more to savoury, earthy and stony, pecans and exotic spice, succulence of fruit reined in by structure and earthy bass. Pumice stone and pomegranate, power and presence. And the finish is a landslide of shale and forest berries. What a wine! Choosing between this and the Smart is sort of like being asked which of my two sons I like best. The answer is, of course, that they are both great, but different. I love youse all. Tasted: May 20; Alcohol: 14.5%; Price: $60; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2022-2035; Rated: 96 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front
The provenance of the Old McDonald single vineyard comprises 76yo bushvines and is lighter and more perfumed than its sibling, the Clarendon Smart. Both excellent interpretations of their sites. This one heady with red fruits, florals, dried herbs/mint and a hint of green walnuts. There's a savoury overlay, with very fine sandpaper tannins and neat acidity sashaying across the just medium-bodied palate. Detailed, complex yet ethereal. Drink to: 2032; Price: $60.00; Date Tasted: Oct 2019; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 97 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion
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