At £79 per case of six, Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz is a bargain.
It is produced from a selection of ancient, gnarled vines, some approaching and many over a hundred years of age that not only survive but thrive on their own roots in some of the oldest soils on the planet.
The Dandelion Vineyards is a venture between marketing guru Zar Brooks and his winemaking wife, Elena. ‘When I see a weed I see the Devil' is an old viticulturist's mantra, which makes the labelling of this wine rather quizzical. However, at Dandelion Vineyards, they actually encourage the dandelions to grow amongst the vines, as it suppresses winter weeds and provides mulch in summer.
Their Lionheart Shiraz is so named after Barossa ‘s lifelong champion of old vines, the late Carl Lindner, whose vineyards supplied much of the grapes for the wines at St. Hallett in the 1980s and 1990s and provide much of the grapes for this wine.
The 2018 vintage was an excellent one in the Barossa. The growing season started off well with higher than average rainfall in winter, allowing the vines to build up sufficient reserves for what would be a dry summer.
Careful vineyard management was required to manage the effects of water stress in the vineyard throughout the summer. Consistent favourable weather in March and early April created perfect conditions for harvest and delivered sound fruit and consistent yields.
In the last week of April whole bunches of Shiraz were hand harvested, then gently crushed and naturally fermented in open fermenters for eight days, hand plunged twice a day, before careful basket pressing into some new, but predominantly older French oak barriques to finish fermentation.
After 18 months maturation and a racking, it was bottled without filtration or fining, to capture the essence of the vineyard. Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart is ready to drink and will reward cellaring and decanting.
The colour is inky black, with a deep, dark red black hue. Lusty aromas of liquorice, dark plum, blackberry and blueberry fill the nostrils with hints of vanillin oak and spice notes. The palate is awash with rich liquorice, blackberry and dark plum flavours and possesses ample body weight. Elements of vanillin oak, subtle fennel and spice sit underneath. Terrific power finishing with good freshness, silky tannins and a long rich generously textured aftertaste
The fruits of vines up to 100 years old for just over £13 a bottle. That spells Bargain in any language! Buy yours now at Dandelion Vineyards.