Dandelion Vineyards Red Queen of the Eden Valley Shiraz 2018
Elena Brooks carefully crafts this rarity from the late Colin Kroehn’s Eden Valley vineyard from vines planted in 1912. Both riesling and shiraz come from this special site with limestone bedrock and red-streaked quartz outcrops. The fruit from these very old vines is so powerful and concentrated that Elena does only an 11-day wild fermentation before gently basket-pressing it off to age for 21⁄2 years in French oak barriques, half of which are renewed each year.
The resulting wine is phenomenal, combining the intensely bold, long and rich fruit with a minty Eden Valley character, sweet, smoky mocha from the oak and a tensile, elegant, juicy, long palate that manages to lift and refresh despite all of the wine’s power and size. If you are serving this bottle with dinner, make sure it has a rich and flavoursome sauce or plenty of marinade, and open the bottle a few hours ahead of time. This style of old-vine Australian shiraz ages extremely slowly and holds onto its fruit for well over a decade. Given it is unlikely to change significantly within the next 10 years, you have a wide-open drinking window. (B)