Winery Review – Pankhurst Wines by Brent Lello

Situated at the Southernmost point of the Yass Valley, the wineries down Wallaroo Road are well worth a visit.  Taking the exit off the Barton to drive along the plush green rolling hills towards the mighty Murrumbidgee River and the beautiful Brindabellas beyond.  The wineries are fortuitously situated close together making it just a short hop between cellar door experiences.

One of these wineries is Pankhurst Wines and proprietors Allan and Christine Pankhurst are among the most welcoming and hospitable in the Yass Valley region.  Allan and Christine demonstrate a real passion for their product and vibrant enthusiasm to share the grape-to-glass journey of their wares. 

Christine and Allan with their dog Abbie

Established in 1986, Pankhurst has developed a canny knack for producing wines that exhibit true varietal definition and classic cool climate character.  

It had been a long while since I had last visited Pankhurst Wines and in that time, they have transformed their cellar door into a warmly welcoming space with a deck allowing punters to take in the views of serenely surrounding Brindabellas while enjoying the tasting journey through the current wine range. 

Pankhurst cellar door has spacious new areas

The tasting centres around a delicious range of delectable whites and ripping reds with a few surprises along the way.  Here is what we tried:

Arneis 2019 – aromas of freshly cut ripe pear and peach with a hint of green melon.  The palate is plush with stone fruit and pear flavours and a deliciously food-friendly minerally finish.  Just the trick for BBQ’d south coast flathead fillets, sea salt and herbed mayonnaise. 

Marsanne 2021 – the aromas are fresh and vibrant with grapefruit and nectarine fruit.  On the palate, it’s rich and ripe with stone fruit flavours with a hint of apricot kernel and a lifted fragrance of honeysuckle.  Sticky apricot chicken with this for me.

Rose Sangiovese 2022 – the colour is a light blush of pink due to only two hours on skins during the making.  Aromas of strawberry and red currants with a deliciously dry palate with crushed cranberry flavours and a lovely lick of acid.  Enjoy on a warm summer evening with a bucket of fresh prawns with spicy seafood cocktail sauce.

Pinot Noir 2021 – aromas of ripe red cherry with lovely line and length on the palate and well-integrated acid leading to a long and lingering finish.  Thai red duck curry with lychees here.

Tempranillo 2021 – aromas of spicy ripe plum with hints of clove and tobacco leaf.  The palate is subtly savoury with ripe black fruit flavours and a food-friendly finish.  Crack on here with roasted potatoes with fried chorizo crumb, smoked paprika and shaved Manchego cheese.

Sangiovese 2016 – aromas of dark cherry with a crack of white pepper.  The flavours are of spicy, ripe red fruits.  Turkish lamb pizza with this.

Merlot 2017 – aromas of richly spiced dark plums and Christmas cake.  The palate is sublime and voluptuous with ripe plum and boysenberry flavours and a long-lasting finish.  Just the thing with chargrilled lamb cutlets with beetroot chutney glaze.

Cabernet 2019 – aromas of blueberry and blackcurrant with a hint of pepper and allspice.  The palate is firm and rich with blackberry fruit flavours, fine tannins and silky, smooth finish.  Team this with a char-grilled eye fillet with green peppercorn sauce.

Dessert Style Semillon 2009 – gloriously golden in the glass with stunning aromas of cumquat marmalade and burnt honey.  Rich honey and marmalade flavours with a lovely lift of acidity at the end.  Enjoy this with creamy blue cheese or duck liver pate with quince paste.

There’s more to the Pankhurst cellar door experience too, with something for everyone.  Adorable dogs, cheese plates sourced from the South Coast, a range of locally produced condiments and Allan’s hand-crafted homewares to purchase, made from wine barrels and recycled timber, including platters, chairs and tables.  So, when the weather warms up, wind yourself down the Wallaroo way and take in the great Pankhurst experience – one of the bright lights shining on the Yass Valley region wine scene.