2018 Dandelion Vineyards, Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz - Riesling, 12x750ml

2018 Dandelion Vineyards, Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz - Riesling, 12x750ml

2018 Dandelion Vineyards, Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz - Riesling
jancisrobinson.com Wine of The Week (Mar '21)
Vegetarian, Vegan
An almost forgotten but traditional and timeless blend of Shiraz and Riesling. With aromas of rose petals, lifted red fruits and a little lime marmalade derived from co-fermentation with the aromatic Eden Valley Riesling.

Availability: In stock

Case size: 12 / Bottle size: 750ml

Duty Status
From £112.00

Critics Score: 95

Publication: Ned Goodwin MW, James Halliday's Wine Companion

Drinking Dates: Now-2026

Clearly eager to showcase the riesling component (as at 5% of the blend it is not necessary to note it on the label), this is quirky but wholly delicious. Makes sense: riesling's zingy acidity imparting life to the swirl of purple to blue fruit references inherent to Vale shiraz. Whole bunches of the latter were fermented with stems, atop riesling skins. Beautifully floral. Think lilac and rose water. Charming. Crunchy and long. The tannins are like chewing grape skins and the most delicious pulp. Real verve here.
2018 Dandelion Vineyards, Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz - Riesling

Dandelion Vineyards is the venture of self-titled ‘typist’ Zar Brooks and his winemaking wife Elena, with wines made from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, Fleurieu, the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. Nick Stock, one of Australia’s leading journalists, has described Dandelion as follows: “Brooks has teamed up with his winemaking wife Elena, a woman whose talents are outweighed only by her tolerance, in an exciting new venture called Dandelion Vineyards. The approach is remarkably simple and sees Elena making wine from a suite of beautiful old vineyards across that blessed curve that runs from the Barossa, up through the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills and down into McLaren Vale.”

The word Dandelion, from Dente de Lion means 'Lion's Tooth'. From this vineyard, Elena co-ferments an almost forgotten but timeless blend of Shiraz and Riesling to enhance the wine's perfume and palate. They encourage the growth of dandelions in the vineyard as they suppress winter weeds and provide mulch in summer. Soils are sandy loam and Pirramimma sandstone.

The Shiraz grapes were hand harvested and whole-bunch fermented with stalks in open fermenters on top of Riesling skins for 11 days. The cap was hand plunged twice daily before being gently pressed into a mix of new and old French oak barriques to complete fermentation. The wine remained in these barrels for 18 months before being racked and bottled without filtration or fining.

The 2018 vintage was near perfect. There was a good wet season in 2017 which meant healthy vines, but a dry period early in 2018 prevented excessive vigour or disease problems. Summer and early autumn were unusually dry. There was as little as 10mm of rain from 1st January through to picking in the middle of March. Fortunately McLaren Vale growers have access to multiple water sources, including recycled water, which allows for timely irrigation and good yields. Favourable summer ripening weather with daytime temperatures in the high twenties, with cool nights, led to fruit in great condition at picking.