Dandelion Vineyards is the venture of self-titled 'typist' Zar Brooks, his winemaking wife Elena and growers Carl Lindner and Brad Rey, with wines made from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, Fleurieu and McLaren Vale. Nick Stock, one of Australia's leading journalists, has described Dandelion as follows: 'Brooks has teamed up with his winemaking wife Elena, a woman whose talents are outweighed only by her tolerance, in an exciting new venture called Dandelion Vineyards. The approach is remarkably simple and sees Elena making wine from a suite of beautiful old vineyards identified by Carl Lindner and Brad Rey across that blessed curve that runs from the Barossa, up through the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills and down into McLaren Vale.'
With a prime position overlooking the Finniss River wetlands, Stranger's Reach vineyard is cooled by the maritime influence of the Great Southern Ocean and nearby Lake Alexandrina. Deep alluvial soils and low rainfall help the tough Cabernet vines produce rich flavours in the berries.
2015 was an early vintage following a cool and dry growing season and timely rainfall at veraison. These conditions preserved bright colour, fruit purity and the natural acidity of the wine.
Selected bunches were hand picked by family and friends in the third week of March and gently crushed into open top fermenters. After 14 days fermentation the wine was then basket pressed into some new but predominately older French Oak barriques for 18 months maturation and then bottled with minimal winemaking artifact, to capture the essence of the vineyard.
An intense, regal purple with bright edges. Scented blueberries, cassis and anise aromas with sweet spice, cedar and blackberry notes. The palate is rich, deep and full-flavoured, with blueberry, black plums, figs and milk chocolate flavours. Tobacco, spearmint and soft powdery Cabernet tannins are softened by smooth, mouth-filling fruit before a really extended finish.