Dandelion Vineyards

South Australia, south australia Australia

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 ‘blessed curve’ that Nick refers to is at the heart of what Dandelion does. So successful have they been that Elena stunned the Barossa in 2014 by winning ‘Winemaker of the Show’ at the Barossa Wine Show. Her ‘Lionheart of the Barossa’ is classic Barossa Shiraz, and remarkable value, while the ‘Menagerie of the Barossa’ is an opulent, Grenache-dominant, field blend. Moving up into the Eden Valley, the ‘Red Queen’ was the wine for which Elena was crowned ‘Winemaker of the Show’, while the ‘Wonderland’ Riesling, from a gnarled and venerable vineyard, is outstanding.

The McLaren Vale wines show the tremendous generosity and freshness that marks out this fine region. The ‘Lioness of McLaren Vale’ has impressive purity of fruit, while the ‘Lion’s Tooth’ is given more vibrancy by the inclusion of Riesling in the blend. The ‘Pride of Fleurieu’ Cabernet has lovely berry fruit and is a reminder of just how undervalued this variety is in Australia. The extremely old ‘Legacy of Australia’ Pedro Ximénez is a real treat, like all of the Dandelion wines.

 

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