Dandelion 2014 Shiraz, Lionheart of the Barossa, Barossa Valley
Dandelion Vineyards was started as a partnership between a group of growers and winemakers and apparently they really hit on something because their wines are receiving raves. They were just awarded Winery of the Year - Southern Hemisphere by the Critics Challenge Wine Competition. The Lionheart of Dandelion Vineyards hails from old vine Barossa Shiraz. These ancient, gnarled vines, many over a hundred years of age, are not only surviving but thriving on their own roots in some of the oldest soils on the planet. For this 2014 grapes were sourced from God's Hill Vineyard with average vine age of 91 years old. A meager 1.3 tons per acre is all that these ancient vines yield, but the grapes have flavor and intensity that is gigantic. In the third week of March 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 new (25%) and older French Oak Barriques to finish fermentation. After 18 months maturation and a racking in the same oak, it was bottled without filtration or fining, to capture the essence of the vines. This wine is a 96 point Platinum award winner at the 2015 Critics Challenge International Wine Competition. They said "Dandelion wines are brilliantly made and modestly priced. The Lionheart of the Barossa is a beautiful example of juicy, ripe Aussie Shiraz, showing intense blueberry aroma, with spice and a warm wood note."