Stephen Pannell continues to showcase his stunning talent with the release of another tremendous trio of reds.
Topping the charts is the Old McDonald Grenache 2021 (99 Points). Not only is this James Suckling’s #1 rated 2021 Grenache worldwide, it’s also his equal highest rated Aussie red from 2021, sitting proudly alongside Tyrrell’s Old Patch Shiraz, albeit at less than half the price. Whilst Suckling can be brief with notes he didn’t hold back on this gem… “gloriously detailed, focused, punchy and energetically youthful, fresh and vivid, fine and layered… supercharged!” Huon Hooke offers similar praise with a 96 point score and equal 2nd ranking for all 2021 Australian Grenache, echoing Suckling’s supercharged reference “Concentration-plus. Serious grenache indeed!” Hooke’s drinking window of 2023-2036 suggests a Grenache that will deliver in good time.
For immediate appeal Old McDonald’s twin, the 2021 Smart Grenache (96 points) offers a nervier end to the Grenache spectrum, with Suckling noting “attractive ripe strawberry with orange peel aromas that follow through to a medium to full body with dusty tannins and plenty of lemon rind texture to the vivid fruits”. Despite offering contrary styles, I loved them both!
For Shiraz lovers looking for a “heroic red with a great future” Pannell’s $37 Merrivale Shiraz appears to be a no-brainer. With 97 points, this Real Review ‘Wine of the Week’ has maintained the #1 2021 McLaren Vale Shiraz ranking since Hooke first tasted it in October 2022. There’s a bottle on the tasting bench ‘open this Thursday – Saturday afternoon and anyone passing by and keen to sample. “Very deep, almost opaque purple colour, almost glass-staining. The bouquet is reserved and shy, latent and dense, brooding and powerful—and it's the same on the palate. Tar, graphite, ironstone and black soil. A big, bold, robust shiraz, full-bodied and muscular, with tremendous middle-palate fruit sweetness, richness and masses of ripe, smooth tannins. Impressive concentration and persistence. The regional fruit shines like a beacon. A heroic red wine with a great future. (From the home block, planted to an old clone in 1970) 97 Points. Drink 2022-2046. Huon Hooke”