Wine review — Dandelion Vineyards, Turkey Flat and Domain Day

Dandelion Vineyards Wonderland of the Eden Valley Riesling 2009 $23–$25
This is a stunning first release for Dandelion Vineyards, the brainchild of husband and wife Zar and Elena Brooks. Dandelion grows its own grapes and sources others from notable vineyards. In this instance, says Zar Brooks, the grapes come from a “centurion plus riesling vineyard of five acres or so tended by the 86 years young Mr Colin Kroehn, all in view of his beloved Church of St Petri”. There’s a fine, delicate magic to Dandelion dry riesling – a classic of the taut, intense Eden Valley style – made by Elena Brooks. See for more info.

Turkey Flat Vineyards Barossa Valley Shiraz 2008 $47
Turkey Flat, writes proprietor Peter Schulz, harvested most of its shiraz before the intense March 2008 heatwave that made vintage difficult for many growers. The resulting wine is an alluring, fragrant Barossa shiraz of the highest order. It’s ripe, but not over-ripe and clearly varietal in the warm climate spectrum – reminiscent of juicy black cherry with a touch of spice. The fruit’s laced with the Barossa’s soft, tender tannins; and there’s a subtle oak influence working sympathetically with the structure and flavour.  It’s an easy-to drink-red of great sophistication and with years of cellaring life ahead. It’s sourced principally from vines planted in 1847.

Domain Day Mt Crawford One Serious Merlot 2006 $28
Merlot struggles for an identity in Australia. It doesn’t help that much of our earlier plantings turned out to cabernet franc, an aromatic but often weedy variety, nor that much of our merlot came laced with sugar – giving the variety and undeserved reputation as sweet. Even at home in Bordeaux, though, merlot generally fills out cabernet blends, and only occasionally stands on its own. All of that’s a preamble to saying Robin Day’s version is bloody good. It’s medium coloured and attractively perfumed with a touch of ripe plum and earth. These come through, too, on an elegant laced with firm but fine tannins.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010