`The Vale` McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale


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.

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This old vine Shiraz Grenache blend is considered to be Stephen Pannell's wine of place, and it couldn't come from anywhere else but 'The Vale'. The grapes are grown in McLaren Vale in the 'Old McDonald' vineyard. The vines are 73 years old.

Vintage Information

The 2016 vintage was a vintage of two distinct halves. Winter and spring were exceptionally dry and warm and the vines required additional irrigation to avoid heat stress. Thankfully, a number of rainstorms turned 2016 into one of the wettest and mildest ripening periods. This cool, wet period saved the harvest and allowed for a long maturation period, which resulted in wines with incredible structure and ageing potential.


The Grenache grapes spent 13 days on their skins, while the Shiraz 16 days. The Grenache was aged in 5000 litre French vats and the Shiraz was aged in four-year-old French puncheons, before both being blended back into vats and settled for four months prior to bottling.

Tasting Notes

The rich black fruits and spice of the Shiraz are lifted by the perfumed musk and red fruits of the Grenache. These two varieties unite to achieve a seamless, medium bodied wine with a silky texture. The Grenache controls the mid-palate exuberance of the Shiraz and provides great length. The finish is well structured with savoury, gritty tannins. This wine will age well for ten years or longer.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2016
Grape varieties 70% Grenache/Garnacha
30% Syrah/Shiraz
Region McLaren Vale, South Australia
Winemaker Stephen Pannell
Alcohol (ABV) 14.5%
Acidity 6g/l
Wine pH 3.48