Each year l declassify and blend a few barrels from current vintage 'The Blonde` and `The Brunette vineyards. resulting in a limited edition wine called `HEAD RED`. This wine allows a sneak preview of my later released single vineyard wines and a chance for me to practise the old adage. `The whole is greater than the sum of`it's parts.
The 'HEAD RED' range always represents my best blended wines from a given vintage. Before vintage I asked myself how to make HEAD RED an even better wine and so set about using techniques from The Contrarian's whole-bunch wine-making style and a smaller amount of newer, larger format oak (10%) for greater texture and freshness in the wine. The prime intention was not to compromise the accessibility or style of the wine. In 2012, six separate vineyard parcels from across the Barossa were selected in the final blend including: Shiraz from Stonewell, Greenock, Moppa, Light Pass and as in 2011, Mt Mackenzie from the Eden Valley. Included in the blend is 8% Grenache from Kalimna, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from Krondorf and 1% Viognier from The Blonde barrels. This resulted in a pleasant reminder of the 2010 'HEAD RED' Shiraz Viognier with more complexity. Bottled unfined and unfiltered under stelvin capsule.
Dark red in colour. Pretty, lifted nose of cherry, blue fruits, wild mint, rhubarb and an underlying raspberry dominance. Medium to full palate is plump with liquored cherry and red fruit to the fore. Lovely freshness and savory edge to the tannins keep the wine food focused. Closest to the 2009 HEAD RED in style with perhaps more structure and length. Try with BBQ’d red meats. Easy to drink now or up to 10 years.
Dark red to black colour. The nose shows raspberry, aniseed, tar, cola, vanilla cream, rosemary, sage and menthol. The palate has layers of liquered red fruits and complex, supple tannins. The sweeter fruits and glycerols seem to completely coat the tannins underneath. Try with Indian dishes or BBQ'd red meats. Easy to drink now or up to 10 years. 13.7% Alcohol.
92 points. “A barrel cull of the all the Shiraz that does not make it into the other wines, though that sells it short.
Unusual sophistication at this price point for a Barossa Shiraz. It’s not an ooze monster, not at all. It’s fine and spicy, almost bony in structure with firm grainy tannin, blueberry and floral/apricot perfume, pan juices and crisp cut of acidity. Finish is dry, meaty and spicy, with a vapour trail of sweet blue fruit. Likely better again with another year in bottle.”
92 points - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
Alex Head’s entry level Head Red range of Barossa reds always overperform, and no departure here. I always like one or the other of the two wines in the ‘Head Red’ range, and this year it was the straight Shiraz that won.
Culled from barrels of the single vineyard Head Wines, this Shiraz spends 12 months in wood and is bottled earlier than the single vineyard wines.
Immediately this is sexy, plush, purple wine. Swish modern Barossa Shiraz, with polish well above its pricepoint. Lavish plum and boysenberry fruit, coffee powder oak in the background, all in mid-weight and round form. It falls away just a fraction on the finish, but the overall generosity and endless drinkability of this style makes it really quite more-ish.
Nice wine and at a nice price. Best drinking: 2016-2025. 17.7/20, 92/100. 14%, $25. Ozwinereview