A barrique of Sommeliers blended with a deft dose of Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers have come together at the Sommelier Wine Awards 2020 and judged Dandelion Vineyards as New World Producer of the Year. Dandelion Vineyards is in fact the first ever Australian Wine producer to be awarded this prestigious title. The Sommelier Wine Awards began in 2007 and is the UK’s most prestigious on-trade Wine Competition.
With wines produced from the reputable regions of Eden Valley, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills, Elena Brooks, owner and winemaker at Dandelion Vineyards, aims to capture wines “with freshness, strong aromatics and bright acidity, to be enjoyed with food. Using traditional varieties, for modern palates.”
The 2017 Red Queen of Eden Valley Shiraz which comes from 108 yr-old Kroehn’s vineyard, is one of the top four Dandelion Vineyard wines awarded gold at SWA 2020. “This has lovely aromatics and a velvety texture, with a touch of hot paprika some green flashes, and great acidity.” Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK.
The recent acquisition of Firehawk Farm, a 60-acre property in McLaren Vale, adds another single vineyard Shiraz to the Dandelion stable, Firehawk Shiraz. The first release, 2017, continues Elena’s claim for gold. “An ambitious wine that’s polished and full-bodied, and very concentrated, with chocolate notes and firm tannins.” Matthieu Longuère MS.
Elena’s skills and passion aren’t limited to sensational Shiraz. The Lion’s Roar of Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon and the Pride of the Fleurieu Cabernet Sauvignon, both bring amazing structure and balance to the palate.
“A real winner at this price, this has luscious, perfectly balanced, mouth-watering ripe fruit, and a ripe, mature palate.” says Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard, about the 2018 Lion’s Roar of Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon.
For over a decade Dandelion Vineyards has partnered with highly acclaimed distributor Liberty Wines to bring their Australian portfolio to the UK on and off trade.
A very rarely emotional Co-Founder, Proprietor & Winemaker for Dandelion Vineyards, Ms Elena Brooks, says “We take a lot for granted in the Wine Trade. During the pandemic at least we can still work in our vineyards and wineries but spare a thought for those who we rely on – our distributors and trade customers – who haven’t even been able do their thing.”
“This award really belongs to them. Dandelion Vineyards would literally not be here in 2020 if it wasn’t for the initial faith and ongoing support of our UK importers Liberty Wines, Mr David Gleave MW, and the Liberty team. They made the difference at our toughest of times, and with Liberty’s amazing on-trade and independent customers…above and beyond.”
“Liberty champions so many. They took on our wines before we even sold a bottle in Australia. Thank you from our small family to Liberty and all. I only hope we can return in kind.”
Dandelion Vineyards Wines Awarded
Gold Medal – Red Queen of the Eden Valley, Shiraz 2017 South Australia
‘An enjoyable, complex wine opening with a fragrant nose of fruit and brambles, along with clove and wood spices, leading to a a punchy palate with very pleasant fruit and cracked pepper. Youthful, textured and smooth.‘ Michael Driscoll, Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa.
Gold Medal – Firehawk Farm, Shiraz 2017 McLaren Vale, South Australia
‘Monumental, with some complex savoury, smoky, spicy and earthy notes, and punchy too.‘ Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade.
‘Fruity and elegant, with good acidity and tannins for food. This is very pleasant, and worthy of the price point.‘ Antóin UáRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier.
Gold Medal – Lion’s Roar of the Barossa, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Barossa Valley, South Australia
‘Minty, with some luscious red fruits and some smoky, fine oak and well-integrated young tannins. This is drinking well now, but will improve immensely over the next five years too.‘ Martin Lam, team leader.
Gold Medal – Pride of the Fleurieu, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 South Australia
‘A meaty, savoury wine with really deep black fruits and black pepper spice, and some slightly drying tannins.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader.
‘This has an intense, deep nose of dark berries and blackberries, with hints of eucalyptus and mint showing nicely. The texture is soft, inviting and approachable, with overall good balance.’ Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir.
Silver Medal – Lioness of McLaren Vale, Shiraz 2018 McLaren Vale, South Australia
‘There’s good purity to this, and an easy-drinking style, offering good value for the price point.’ Andres Ituarte, team leader.
‘Notes of black pepper and ripe black cherries together with a floral, perfumed element and a lovely smoky element, leading to a full-bodied palate.‘ Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.
Bronze Medal – Lionheart of the Barossa, Shiraz 2018 Barossa, South Australia
‘Rich, ripe and luscious red and black fruits on show here, together with some vanilla oak, and a velvety and soft mouthfeel.’ Sue Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.
‘This has some dark fruit notes combined with intense notes of spices and dark chocolate.’ Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir.
Bronze Medal – Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale, Shiraz Riesling 2018 McLaren Vale, South Australia
‘A lovely, juicy wine with dark fruits and some refreshing acidity. Approachable, and a fun option to have by the glass.‘ Laurent Richet MS, team leader.
‘Lovely perfume of floral violet notes and blackberries, and a palate that’s juicy and vibrant, with lovely texture, salinity, and good freshness.’ Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.
Bronze Medal – Wishing Clock of the Adelaide Hills, Sauvignon Blanc 2019 South Australia
‘A very concentrated wine with pronounced intensity of lime, pomelo and Granny Smith apple, leading to strong minerality of crushed rocks and seashell with a touch of lemon grass, to tick all of the boxes of a great Sauvignon Blanc.’ Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain.
‘Some cool fruits from altitude add an attractive lemon zing of freshness to this.‘ Tom Forrest, team leader.