I've been a massive fan of Australian Shiraz/Viognier blends for a number years, then recently I came across the 2010 Dandelion Vineyards The Lions Tooth, Shiraz-Riesling. Which is not something that I'd ever seen or even heard of before.
Dandelion Vineyards is a collaboration by Zar Brooks and his wine making wife Elana, with growers Carl Lindner and Brad Rey. Bringing together vineyards spread across the Adelaide Hills, Eden Valley, McLaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula and Langhorne Creek. Utilising fruit from well established single vineyards, showing the classic varietal from each region, with some vines being 99 years old.
To produce this wine, they ferment whole bunches of Shiraz grapes (from McLaren Vale) on top of Riesling (Eden Valley) skins for seven days in open top fermenters which are hand plunged twice a day. They are then carefully basket pressed, and put into some new, and the rest older French Oak barriques to finish the fermentation process. It's then left for a further 18 months maturation in the same oak before being bottled without filtration or fining to preserve "the essence of the vineyard".
In the glass, the wine has a deep inky purple colour, with pronounced aromas of red berries, cherries, blueberries and a touch of spice all combining beautifully. On the palate you get all the aromas coming through wonderfully, combined with soft velvety tannins and a great acidity go on to produce a perfectly balanced and very interesting wine. The complexity you get from this wine is just amazing, from the co-ferment of the Shiraz and Riesling to the use of new and old oak.
I have to say this wine was absolutely stunning, with so much going on you definitely get your money's worth if not more, which I would definitely recommend you grab a bottle every time you see one!