Good News Story #1
Tonight, the title ‘Best Sauvignon Blanc’ has been wrenched from the hands of the Kiwis after a six-year strangehold, with the epithet awarded to Stephen Pannell and his S.C. Pannell 2007 Sauvignon Blanc.
The annual Tri-Nations Wine Challenge is a tough competition chaired by three judges who represent the who’s who of wine sovereignty in their respective nations – James Halliday (Australia), Bob Campbell MW (New Zealand) and Michael Fridjhon (South Africa). They choose just seven wines in each of the 15 categories, totalling 315 wines for judgment. The wines are entered by invitation-only, making these awards unique by world standards.
With Sauvignon Blanc being the signature variety of the New Zealand wine industry, this loss presents a crushing blow. Stephen Pannell, owner and winemaker of S.C. Pannell wines, strongly believes an Aussie win was long overdue. “The Kiwis won the Best Shiraz trophy yet again this year, so quite frankly the judging panel has assigned a little bit of justice. And we need to win something - it’s clearly not going to be in the cricket,” remarked Stephen.
The win also demonstrates that sauvignon blanc can reap some sound rewards with a little more time in bottle. Unlike his friends across the ditch, Stephen chooses to release his sauvignon blanc a year after vintage.
Good News Story #2
The Alternative Varieties Wine Show, held each year in Mildura is arguably the most exciting and intriguing show on the wine calendar. It aims to cultivate emerging varieties and styles, and is a true discovery ground, bringing to the fore the type of wines usually marginalised at mainsteam wine shows. It now attracts some 600+ entries from throughout Australia and New Zealand. The show has just wrapped up, and the panel led by Chair Max Allen reckoned the S.C. Pannell 2006 Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo an absolute stand-out, and was the only wine awarded Gold in its class.
Good News Story #3
On a recent trip to London, Stephen was hosting a dinner with renown Barolo producer G.D Vajra whom Stephen had also spent some time working with in 2004. It was the usual, very serious wine affair, with eight of London’s top Italian restaurant sommeliers in attendance. In one of the wine tasting brackets, guests were served the 2004 Langhe Nebbiolo from Vajra and S.C. Pannell’s own 2005 Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo. The wines were masked and the guests were told that one wine was an Aussie, the other an Italian, and the challenge was set for them to guess which was which.
Out of all sommeliers, only one of them got it right.
About Stephen Pannell
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 many years working with some Australia’s iconic wineries (including Wirra Wirra, Hardy’s Tintara and BRL Hardy where he was Chief Red Winemaker from 1999 to 2003) alongside numerous overseas vintages 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. In addition to establishing his own label, S.C.Pannell, Stephen has a wine consulting business withclients in Australia, Argentina, UK and Spain, and is a member of the Qantas wine selection panel. “This is a label which is well on the way to icon-status.” - James Halliday, The Australian Wine Companion 2008.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 21 November 2008
For further information and images, please contact: Llawela Forrest - RUN FORREST. M: 0400 586 991. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOTNOTE FROM PHILIP WHITE:
The new Pannell wines will soon be reviewed on DRANKSTER. The nebbiolo is from Frank and Rosie Baldasso's PROTERO vineyard between Gumeracha and Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills. For the latest PROTERO knockout, read the article below.
AND ANOTHER ONE:
How many more of these claims are we gonna get from this tasting these three blokes had of wines they’d nominated themselves? This is the spin from McWilliams:
AUSTRALIA’S GREATEST WHITE WINE
AUSTRALIAN WINE THAT BEAT THE KIWIS AND SOUTH AFRICANS RELEASED TODAY!
An Australian wine which has garnered international attention and critical acclaim will be released in Australia today. Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2003, which won three trophies including ‘Best Wine of Show’ at the Tri Nations Wine Challenge, can now be found in limited quantities on shelves across Australia.
The wine’s ability to reward cellaring for up to 30 years is a rarity with Australian white wine and has been appreciated by international critics and wine show judges for more than five decades, however Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon is still relatively unknown among most Australian wine drinkers.
Described by leading UK wine critic Matthew Jukes as, “…the finest single vineyard Sem in the
world,” Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon has also been named a ‘Landmark Wine of Australia’
and is rated ‘Excellent’ on the prestigious Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine IV.
“Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon represents a style unique to Australia and the Hunter Valley, from a very special piece of soil in the region. I’m pleased that these distinctive elements have been recognized. It is also pleasing to see Australia once again demonstrate why we’re such a powerful player on the international wine stage,” Mr Ryan said.
The 2003 vintage of Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon – released today – won the Best Other
White Trophy, Best White Wine Trophy and Best Wine of Show Trophy at the Tri Nations Wine
Challenge, announced last Friday night. The wine has also won a gold medal at the International
Wine and Spirit Competition, in London, and a gold medal at the Melbourne Wine Show.
The Tri Nations Wine Challenge sees wines from Australia, New Zealand and Africa compete to win trophies in several categories. Wines can only be entered after receiving an invitation by an
esteemed group of judges that includes UK wine critic Robert Joseph, James Halliday (Australia), Bob Campbell MW (New Zealand) and Michael Fridjhon (South Africa).
Due to the tight criteria for entry and the status of the judging panel, the competition has quickly
established a reputation as one of the most challenging and demanding to win.
Overall, Australia – supported by the success of McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon – was named as ‘Country of the Show’..