Sunday, February 1, 2015

Updated Review: **** $$ Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz, Barossa, Australia, 2008 - BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Dandelion Shiraz.

By way of background, opening thoughts: Another Barossa shiraz, this one from vineyards that include 100-year-old-plus vines. 

Original tasting and review , March, 2012: This is Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz, Barossa, Australia, 2008, finished at 14.5% alcohol, left 18 months in barrel; finished unfined and unfiltered.

In the glass: Deep blood red, opaque from about a half inch from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows coffee, cocoa and deep, soft purple fruit - quite a far cry from more typical Barossa aromatics.  From the aroma, seems like this will be silky, sweet and perhaps silty.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a clean, poignant single deep purple fruit note in the mid-palate, clear as a clarion but deep as a bass.  It resolves into aromatic plums and prunes around the edges and, after 30 seconds, re-emerges as a taut acidic grip high up in your cheeks.  Interesting, precise, clean and bold experience.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a great big plus for its interesting juxtapositions of clarity and boldness.  Makes this a "good" - bordering on "best" - value.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: The purple aromatics come through more now on the nose.  Sweet complex purple fruits blend with soft tannins on the palate, settled by the closing acids.  This is pressing closer and closer toward four stars. 

Following longer decant, another full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Comparable nose, but the palate is a sweet and round, layered red raspberry.  Unique, succulent and yet foodworthy, now just touching four stars and becoming a best value.
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Updated review, three years later, now 7 years from vintage date, January, 2015:  Consistent color and aromas.  Soft, sweet, layered red fruits, with a gentle underlayment of tannins and oak.  The lion is fully tamed, though still full of energy and vigor. Finish is clean and bright, but lacks full memorability or layers.  No problem, since the sip itself is the memory.   Easy four stars and an incredible value.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Dandelion Shiraz.

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