S.C. Pannell Tempranillo Touriga 2012

I purchased this at Brisbane’s excellent Craft Wine Store on the recommendation of a learned friend, who said it would be delicious.

And indeed it is. It’s funny how that can sometimes get pushed to the background with wine. Not that I believe an instinctive, hedonistic response is the only way to appreciate wine, but it’s certainly one way, and wines that immediately communicate a sense of deliciousness don’t always do so by way of simplicity. Unpicking what makes such a wine so appealing is actually far from easy.

A case in point, this one. It’s not simple — the flavour profile is quite layered — but it’s unreservedly accessible, due mostly to a core of purple fruit that I find impossibly tasty. Certainly, the wine’s fruit-forwardness is a big part of the appeal here. But there are plenty of fruit driven wines that don’t approach the attractiveness of this blend, so I think its appeal is not so much a question of balance as of the particular qualities — vibrancy, freshness, expressiveness — of the fruit here, as well as its combination of sweet and savoury elements. One might be tempted to intellectualise the flavours if they didn’t communicate so directly and, in doing so, be so resistant to study.

Structurally, tannins are a particular point of interest. They’re plentiful as well as ripe and fine such that, rather than contribute astringency to the palate, they simply create volume and density, carrying fruit to all corners and contributing a velvety opulence to the wine’s mouthfeel. There’s simply no angularity that doesn’t also have an equal and opposing answer, not to cancel out difficulty but to accompany it, to make sense of it.

It’s easy to believe great wines have to be somehow challenging, or inaccessible, in need of age, unyieldingly savoury, overtly structural, fruit-backward, and so on. Great wines can indeed be some or all of those things. But they don’t have to be. This is none of them yet I’d argue that, in its deliciousness, it exemplifies the sort of wine many of us seek out more often than not, a wine for drinking with abandon, for generous pours over dinner, for exclamations of enjoyment, each less inhibited than the next.

S.C. Pannell
Price: $A27
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Retail

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