Enchanted Garden of the Eden Valley Riesling 2021
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. 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’ is the wine for which Elena has been 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.
The word Dandelion, from Dente de Lion means ‘Lion’s Tooth’. From this vineyard, Elena co-ferments an almost forgotten but timeless blend of Shiraz and Riesling to enhance the wine’s perfume and palate. They encourage the growth of dandelions in the vineyard as they suppress winter weeds and provide mulch in summer. Soils are sandy loam and Pirramimma sandstone.
Enchanted Garden is a thriving 7 acres Eden Valley Vine Garden. Whole bunches were hand-picked in the first week of March then de-stemmed without crushing the fruit to fill our press exactly.
Juice from the free run was fermented in a small tank between 11 and 13 degrees Celcius. The wine has a high level of natural acidity, 7.8 grams per litre, a pH of 2.96 and although bone dry, only 11% alcohol.
This 2021 Enchanted Garden of the Eden Valley Riesling was bottled directly with minimal winemaking artifact to capture the essence of the vineyard, a looking glass if you will, and is ready to drink immediately or cellar for decades.
This wine is suitable for vegans.
Pale and youthful in the glass, with some lovely green hints to it. Aromas of citrus pith, talc, jasmine and lily. The palate is fine and delicate, lemony citrus and a bath salts minerality. Long and fine: archetypal Eden Valley riesling
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