The ‘S.C. Pannell’ label was created in 2004 by Stephen and Fiona Pannell in McLaren Vale, yet Stephen’s path towards winemaking began many years beforehand. In 1969, his parents Bill and Sandra established ‘Moss Wood’ in Margaret River, which has become one of Australia’s most iconic and well-loved wineries. Yet despite this, when the chance came for Stephen to buy ‘Moss Wood’ from his parents, he chose to work at ‘Halvorsen Cellars’ in Sydney, followed by working his way around Bordeaux, Burgundy and Barolo. He began working for ‘BRL Hardy’ (now known as ‘Accolade Wines’) in the 1990s, for which he won the ‘Jimmy Watson Trophy’ (one of Australia’s most prestigious wine awards) for his first vintage at Tintara Winery. Since then, his reputation as a superb winemaker has only improved. When ‘BRL Hardy’ was taken over, Stephen and Fiona went solo; wine writer James Halliday stated essentially that he couldn’t believe it took such a talented winemaker as Stephen so long to establish his own brand. However, Stephen and Fiona owned neither vineyard or winery, though due to his reputation, he was able to source fruit from some pretty spectacular sites.
‘S.C. Pannell’ offers a wide variety of wines, from vineyards within the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale regions. The ‘Adelaide Tempranillo Touriga’ is a medium-bodied red with bright red fruits, spice and a juicy finish, perfect with chorizo or stuffed capsicums. The ‘McLaren Vale Field Street Shiraz’ has a beautiful aroma of fresh berries and a long, velvety finish, balanced by fine tannins and the sweetness of the fruit. ‘The Vale’ is a Grenache/Shiraz blend with black fruits, spice, a silky texture, and a long, savoury finish.