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Dandelion Vineyards


‘Menagerie of the Barossa’

Grenache - Shiraz - Mataró   |   Barossa Valley - Australia


At the end of Zar & Elena’s old vine garden path there is a historic ‘Menagerie’ of three grape varieties, adjoining blocks of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataró at Gomersal in the Barossa. These three grapes have been blended together for much longer than the first vines found their way to Australia, but the Barossa has really become a de facto new-world home for this trinity. The cool night of the Barossa really pull back the reins on the power and intensity that comes with the hot growing days. The ’20 vintage in the Barossa saw yields 50% lower than the 10-year average, due to another below-average rainfall winter and spring, temperamental spring weather, leading to reduced fruit set. However, where there is a reduction in quantity there is generally an increase in quality, and this vineyard in particular truly shines with elegance and purity as seen across multiple vintages.

After hand picking selected bunches of the Menagerie field blend in mid-March, Elena let the whole bunches ferment together in open top fermenters with ambient yeasts for 14 days, before basket pressing in old French oak barriques. The wine was then matured for a further 12 months in the same oak, before bottling with a gentle fining and sulfur addition, but without filtration.


  • Grapes: 70% Grenache - 25% Shiraz - 5% Mataró
  • Vineyard: Single site in Gomersal
  • Vine Age: Average: 48-years-old
  • Soil Type: Red clay over limestone & ironstone
  • Viticulture: Sustainable
  • Fermentation: Native – 100% whole-cluster in stainless steel
  • Skin Contact: 14 days
  • Aging: 12 months in seasoned French barriques
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • pH: 3.55
  • Total Acidity: 5.8 g/L
  • Total SO2: 84 ppm
  • Total Production: 750 cases
  • UPC: 9342160000522

Tasting Note

Mild-purple to purple-red; a more opaque rim edge. A bag of boiled lollies mixed with a roadside of dusty blackberry bushes in full fruit. Earth, rose petals, fresh and dried herbs; fennel and sandalwood, and – having said that – the faintest hint of older French oak bouquet. A lesson in grip and texture… Peppercorns atop plummy, dark berry fruit flavors and cherry pith and a pastis/aniseed kick. Dry, very dry; but there, underlying the dark and determined berry fruit foundation, runs a ripe, sliding, slinking acidity. This is a playful mouthful of red wine as much as it is a fully, quietly qualified one. Drinking it is a study in the dialectic.

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