A new royal dynasty burst onto the McLaren Vale wine scene last week, when dynamic duo Elena and Zar Brooks, co-owners of Dandelion Vineyards, were crowned the Queen and King of Bushing (a weird but cool tradition in McLaren Vale with an even weirder name.) The crowning happened in traditional ceremonies that were the culmination of announcing the results of the 48th McLaren Vale Wine Show.
The wine that bestowed the new titles on the was the Dandelion Vineyards Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz Riesling 2020. Elena Brooks is also the winemaker.
Judged as ‘Best in Class’ the Lion’s Tooth went to win ‘Best Wine in Show’ as well. Venerated chair of judges Tony Love proclaimed: “Best wine showed freshness, power and balance along with enough X factor to set it apart from the pack.”
This rather novel blend of Shiraz and Riesling is not any new fancy work. It was actually reasonably common up until the 1950’s but then slipped out of fashion and disappeared. Elena decided to resurrect the style as an homage to Australian wines of an oft forgotten era.
It says something of Queen Elena’s dedication and skill that the ‘overnight success’ of Dandelion Vineyards has actually been a slow build over the last 15 years (her first vintage of this wine was in 2005), in which time she has also had wine judged as Best of Show in the Barossa.
Dandelion Vineyards Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale 2020 is available to purchase now from www.dandelionvineyards.com.au.