By Liz Mencel
The Pannell Family are pleased to invite you to their Spring Release Tastings to be held in Applecross Wednesday 8th of September 2010 and Nedlands Thursday 9th of September 2010. For your invitation to attend future events, please email your contact us at
. A highlight of the ‘Spring Tasting’ will be the opening of five vintages of the Picardy Chardonnay for your review.
Remember on the night, each order placed will go in the draw to win a magnum of 2003 Merlot Cabernet.
2010 PICARDY SAUVIGNON BLANC SEMILLON
This is Picardy’s third release of this wine made from estate fruit, primarily Sauvignon Blanc (78%) with a smaller percentage of Semillon (22%). Crop certainly plays a part in the blend, but the Pannell Family decided early on that Semillon was to be a critical blending component, adding texture and length to the final wine. They are confident this is the best release to date, not surprising since the vines are starting to find their natural balance. A word of warning to the Kiwi-quaffing masses, this is not your typical ‘cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush’ Savvy!
In the glass it is a vibrant straw colour, with a fresh green tinge. The nose is delicately perfumed, with no obvious green characters, except for a hint of fresh sugar-snap pea. Aromas of zesty lemon are most evident, along with some perfume/talc notes and minerality. This wine immediately enlivens the palate and then fills the mouth, showing more depth than your average SB (this is where the Semillon addition plays its part). The primary fruit is lemon and grapefruit, but there is also a defining mineral element. Additionally, there is a very delicate hint of white pepper that is probably due to a small amount of skin contact that is encouraged (the Pannells are aiming for more complexity in the style of a modern Sancerre, from the Loire Valley). The wine is well balanced and displays a lovely juicy quality to it, offering a pleasantly dry and persistent finish. Perfect on a warm afternoon on the Pannells’ balcony whilst sampling the local marron, but also pairs well with delicate seafoods and fresh, crunchy salads served elsewhere!
2009 PICARDY CHARDONNAY
This is a stunning wine, one that someone needs to slip into an ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) Club Meeting to debunk all the myths about Aussie Chards! Pemberton is one of Australia’s coolest climates for grape production, but with ample sunshine (as opposed to heat) for flavour development and ripening. The Chardonnay variety responds very well to these conditions and the result here is a wine of great flavour concentration that is equally streamlined with natural, vibrant acidity. Add to this a favourable, low-cropping vintage, plus the fact that the Pannell Family has truly found its (Burgundian) style when it comes to making Chardonnay, and you have an outright winner.
The wine is bright yellow/straw in colour. The nose is classic Picardy Chardonnay; upfront there is lovely toasty/nutty notes, as well as butterscotch, then comes the fruit, predominantly white peach. On the palate, this wine reveals a silky texture and multiple layers of flavour that reach every part of the mouth. The nose follows through seamlessly to the palate, presenting roasted cashew nut and butterscotch characters, followed by ripe, white peach and nectarine. There is great concentration of flavour throughout, yet the wine finishes clean, citrusy and vibrant. The use of oak is in perfect harmony with the wine, adding just enough structure, nuttiness and sweet vanilla without dominating. The lasting impression is that of a multi-layered wine that shows impressive length of flavour. Everyone should keep a case in their cellar to pull out a bottle when roasting a chicken. This wine also pairs beautifully with those soft, stinky French and Italian cheeses!