Dandelion Vineyards Firehawk of the McLaren Vale Shiraz 2019


This is the vineyard which Zar considers his best from the McLaren Vale region and the results in bottle certainly do not contradict this. It is located on an ancient ridge above McLaren Vale, the Willunga escarpment and the Gulf of St Vincent. Firehawks play the role of scarecrows for smaller birds and rabbits. After hand-harvesting, the bunches were crushed into open fermenters. A two-week ferment, then basket pressing into French barriques, of which a third were new before 18 months maturation. I found this to be an utterly entrancing example of McLaren Vale Shiraz from a top producer and fine year. Coalface black, the aromas are ripe, plush and intense. The immediate impression is of a cracking young McLaren Vale Shiraz at the top of its game. Chocolate, plums, mulberries, fresh leather, warm earth, black fruits and black olives. Supple, cushiony, even velvety texture. This is seamless with great length and balance. It might be seriously good now, but it really does need time to peak. A case in the cellar will make you very happy in a decade.

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