Dandelion Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz Riesling 2017
McLaren Vale, SA
Dandelion, Sister’s Run, Heirloom Vineyards, Cien y Pico
Elena originally hails from Lyaskovets, Bulgaria, a small town famous for its wine. She is a qualified winemaker, BSc (Oenology) Adelaide and has made wine for various Australian Wineries as well as being a consultant winemaker to a number of leading wine companies in Spain, Italy and Bulgaria.
Born to a MIG Fighter Pilot and Helicopter Mechanic (both of whom happened to be involved in the wine industry in Lyaskovets), Elena's interest in winemaking stemmed from time spent translating for Australian Winemakers Stephen Bennet, David Norman, Dylan Rhymer, Kym Milne MW and others, who worked at her mother's winery between '93 and '98.
With Stephen Bennet’s support and her family’s encouragement, Elena made the move to Australia and started studying winemaking at Adelaide University in 1998, graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science (Oenology). (Elena’s mum was
Shiraz (which is essentially Syrah) is a dark-skinned grape grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerful red wines.
Wines made from Syrah are often powerfully flavoured and full-bodied. The variety produces wines with a wide range of flavor notes, depending on the climate and soils where it is grown, as well as other viticultural practices chosen. Aroma characters can range from violets to berries (usually dark as opposed to red), chocolate, espresso and black pepper. No one aroma can be called "typical" though blackberry and pepper are often noticed. With time in the bottle these "primary" notes are moderated and then supplemented with earthy or savory "tertiary" notes such as leather and truffle.
"Secondary" flavor and aroma notes are those associated with several things, generally winemakers' practices (such as oak barrel and yeast regimes).
It is called Syrah in its country of origin, France, as well as in the rest of
Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked. As of 2004, Riesling was estimated to be the world's 20th most grown variety at 48,700 hectares (120,000 acres) with an increasing trend.
In terms of importance for quality wines, it is usually included in the "top three" white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling is a variety which is highly "terroir-expressive", meaning that the character of Riesling wines is clearly influenced by the wine's place of origin.
In 1838 William Macarthur planted Riesling vines near Penrith in New South Wales. Riesling was the most planted white grape in Australia until the early 1990s when Chardonnay greatly increased
Less than 40km south of Adelaide, McLaren Vale is another one of South Australia's renowned Shiraz producers, accounting for roughly 50% of grapes crushed annually. The climate is markedly different from the Barossa, being much more Mediterranean with four clear seasons and higher rainfalls. McLaren Vale reds reflect this, showing deep complexity and power along with the ability to cellar for decades. While Shiraz grabs the most attention, chocolate-rich Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays and Viogniers are worth sampling.
The climate is influenced by ocean breezes coming in from the Gulf of St. Vincent to the west and the altitude of the Sellicks Hill Range to the south. Soil type is varied, ranging from red-brown loam and sand to dark clay and the often-mentioned terra rosa. A misspell of the Italian phrase "terra rossa" (meaning "red soil"), this ruddy-red stuff is left behind when limestone breaks down, and any viticulturist will tell you it's great stuff to grow vines in due
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