Dear Cru Club,

I love cookbooks and was recently introduced to ‘The Eternal City: Recipes and stories from Rome’ by Maria Pasquale. In the first paragraph of the introduction Maria states, “I somehow knew Italy was my destiny” and for those that know me it’s a sentiment I share. Perhaps it was a sense of rebellion that drew me to all things Italian. Raised in a household that held dear all things French, I longed for simplicity, provenance and accessibility and found it in Italian food, wine, and culture. 

Fiona and I have visited Italy many times. We’ve worked in Barolo, revelled in the diversity of grape varieties, studied the connection of each variety to place, made lifelong friends and connections to kind, generous people, explored the cities, villages, and islands, and attempted to master dishes like Amatriciana, Carbonara La Gricia and Caccio e Pepe. Plates of wonderous food that seem so simple but require patience, practice, and dedication to the very best ingredients. For me, a love of preparing and sharing great food with friends and family inspires my winemaking, requiring the very same patience, practice and dedication to the best varieties grown in the right places.

The Pannell Enoteca team have matched all the new releases with a recipe from Maria’s excellent book. Buy the book and try them all if you can but if you must pick one, perfect the Amatriciana recipe on page 23 and try with the 2021 S.C.Pannell Old McDonald Grenache: grace, seduction and generousity. Thank you, Italy.

2021 S.C. Pannell Old McDonald Grenache

An especially exciting Old McDonald release, James Suckling gave this vintage 99 points and rated his top red wine from Australia in 2022. His notes describe a wine that is “gloriously detailed , focused and concentrated”. Our notes suggest: All the Rothko colours all at once and everywhere in your mouth: Ripe red raspberry pushing to black fruits with a bowl of pink watermelon and musk lollies, rose-tinted Turkish delight, dark toffee, brown spice, and shiny black cherry.  There’s a push and pull between the dark aromatics and the red fruited palate. The structure and texture leave everything on the table! Generousity, power, grace, perfectly weighted, seductive velvety tannins that have an earthy warmth and are loaded with McLaren Vale sunshine. Width and breadth and length, wow!

Stephen, Fiona and the Pannell Enoteca Team.