Dandelion Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz (Barossa Valley, South Australia)
The Lionheart of Dandelion Vineyards is an old vine Barossa vineyard. 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.
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 in the same oak, 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.
Deeply and darkly yet vibrantly and brightly. There’s the hint of minimal filtering in the wine’s solution but otherwise this alluring red is the faultless hue of some kind of mad hero’s hedonism.
Concrete and freshly shot game; the dark, dark chocolate that is unmistakably Barossa shiraz; and then as you smell the wine again and again come the deft combinations of fruit aromatics and very sparing oak bouquet: nutmeg, earthiness, white pepper freshly milled, cinnamon…
Here we find depth and work – there’s a moreish chewiness about this red wine that puts you straight into the Barossa. Yet there’s deftness about the wine’s giving weight, indeed, a certain lightness and ease runs through the middle to back palate, as if the wine is a cheerful butcher’s apprentice wearing ballet slippers. It is earthy and textural; the dry, powdery tannins that glide in at the mid palate assuage any fear of the dreaded fruit-bomb effect. And then the after palate is a neat composition of fruit sweetness and savouriness, bringing a natural balance.
Perfectly matched with all richly flavoured foods, meats, stews, game or mature hard cheeses. Alluring on the palate our Lionheart commands company with food and friends.