SVS tasting: Dandelion Vineyards and Paddy Borthwick

Recently went to Single Vineyard Sellers’ ( tasting at the Hilton hotel, Sydney. With nearly 200 wines on tasting, there was a lot to taste with properly tasting each wine – 3 hours into the tasting I realised I wasn’t even halfway through! Many wines showed this and that, but one of the wineries I noticed was Dandelion Vineyards ( I kept noticing their finesse and strength in their elegance in their Rieslings without looking at the labels. Upon getting around to the reds in tasting I also noticed their bold, powerful Shiraz, and again Dandelion Vineyards showed up on the labels…

They’re not a greatly famous winery, yet… I just read now that James Halliday has just included them in his top 10 best new wineries of 2011, in which he reviews: Dandelion Vineyards: McLaren Vale/Barossa Valley, SA … The wines range from conventional to unconventional. In the former category, the trophy-winning 2009 Wonderland of the Eden Valley Riesling. Unconventional is the 2007 Lion’s Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz, which is co-fermented with riesling. Everyone involved in the venture has a (real) day job that allows them the luxury of making small quantities of genuinely exciting wines.”

I also tried Paddy Borthwick wines from Wairarapa NZ. Paddy Borthwick’s international winemaking years certainly show in his impressively crafted boutique wines. In particular I enjoyed their elegant style pinot noir that leans away from the popular, sometimes overly fruity style ( These were in my top picks from the tasting:

Dandelion Vineyards – Wonderland of the Eden Valley 2010 – From their oldest Riesling vineyard. Nose is attractive and unobstructive – green apple, lime and floral notes. Palate overall clean stone fruit, citrus and lime, followed by a good finish with elegant, smooth minerality and lean acidity. rrp about $29.

Dandelion Vineyards – Red Queen of the Eden Valley Shiraz 2008 – A rich wine. Full of concentrated plums, raspberries, blackberries and prominent, firm, silky tannins with savoury and dark chocolate characters. Good length. Finish a little lean, has a lot more to show more with age. Should cellar for at least 5-10 years. rrp about $63.

Paddy Borthwick – Pinot Noir 2008 – Burgundian/elegant style pinot… Lifted bouquet on the nose, full of red cherries and black fruits. Complex palate with intensity of fruit alongside tobacco, spices and very silky tannins. Vibrant characters through to the finish, which sits beautifully. rrp about $48.

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