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Head Wines The Brunette 2018

Australia, South Australia Wine
96 JS
95 JH
Head Wines The Brunette

Red clay, quartz and ironstone make this wine dark and brooding. The grapes of this tiny, high elevation vineyard on the western edge of Barossa used to be destined for a Barossa blend that goes for stratospheric prices. Now, Alex works his magic with this secret source.

Country Australia
Region South Australia Wine
Appellation Barossa
Winery Head Wines
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) Shiraz
¥8,690  (incl. tax)

Red clay, quartz and ironstone make this wine dark and brooding. The grapes of this tiny, high elevation vineyard on the western edge of Barossa used to be destined for a Barossa blend that goes for stratospheric prices. Now, Alex works his magic with this secret source.

Country Australia
Region South Australia Wine
Appellation Barossa
Winery Head Wines
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) Shiraz
Production

Viticulture

Moppa at 380m elevation
Farmed sustainably with organic principles
100% Shiraz (1654 clone)
Vine age: 26 years
Soils: Red clay, quartz & ironstone

Vinification

2 ton open-top Stainless Steel, native yeast, 20% stem retention, two-week ferment, hand-plunging & pump over twice daily
On fine lees, 40% new French 228L

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

“Aromas of rich blackberries, cocoa powder, rust, dark chocolate, red and dark plums and tar. This has a very deep, almost chasmic shape on the palate with some long tannins that wind out deep into the finish. Rich dark-plum, berry and chocolate flavors. Ironstone and clay soils of Moppa here." James Suckling

Press
96James Suckling
95James Halliday
Winery

Winery Description

- Barossa's Rising Star -

Years ago, while traveling Europe’s great wine-growing regions, Alex Head fell in love with northern Rhone Valley Shiraz. Of particular fascination was the Côte-Rôtie region, which translates as “Roasted Slope.” With pale limestone and mica slopes to the southwest. And brown slopes covered in schist and iron in the northeast it is a renowned grape-growing region.


Legend has it that Count Maugiron, who owned Côte-Rôtie, had two beautiful daughters — one blonde, the other, brunette. When he retired, he passed on the light southwest slopes to his blonde daughter and the dark northeast slopes to his brunette daughter. And, as the legend goes, this is how those slopes came to be known as “Côte Blonde” and “Côte Brune”.  Like the Count’s daughters, these wines are all elegance, balance and complexity — full of the character of their origins.


Alex’s ability to find unique, elevated sites in the Barossa where the geology and climate allow him to explore his take on these Old World styles. Here in the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley is his Côte-Rôtie in a New World. Its elevated slopes on an east-west aspect are ideal for exploring Shiraz of contrasting styles.


Two of Alex’s wines are the quintessential representation of his Côte-Rôtie ideal. ‘The Blonde’ comes from a vineyard in Stone Well resplendent in the afternoon light, consisting of sandy loam mixed with quartz on a limestone base giving the wine an accentuated perfume and excellent complexity. ‘The Brunette’ is from an elevated east-facing vineyard in Moppa with heavy soils, deep red clay and ironstone, giving the wine a dark, brooding structure perfect for longevity.


These sites rise from the Barossa floor and continue all the way up to the cooler reaches of some 500m. Yes, there’s attention to detail around mainly older vines, but also on the ancient bedrock — shallow sites of loamy sand to clay to quartzite gravel. It’s what makes this an exceptional growing region. Ideal for a variety of fruit profiles and superb acid retention.


Working with an extensive roster of growers – most of whom work with organic practices, and all of whom farm sustainably – Head works with fruit now coming from the Eden Valley, and from the core Barossa Valley. Alex’s technical background comes from his Bachelor of Biochemistry at the University of Sydney. Head gained experience initially working seasons at Torbreck, Tyrrell’s, Cirillo and Laughing Jack, before starting to make his own wines in 2006. The first release of Head Wines was in 2008.


Head wines reveal a ripe varietal expression and reflection of the site with a balanced level of intensity and alcohol. Alex’s careful control of yields in the vineyard and hand-picking allow only prime fruit to reach the winery.  Prudential use of new oak and preference for large fermentation vessels are at the heart of his style. Natural yeast fermentation is standard with all his wines and many see the inclusion of some whole clusters. Sulfites are kept at the bare minimum and only used at bottling time.

Awards
Top 10 Best Value Winery for 2021 - James Halliday
Top Wineries of Australia for 2021 #39 - The Real Review
Finalist for Winemaker of the Year 2020 - Gourmet Traveller magazine
Top 50 for 2018 - Young Gun of Wine
People’s Choice Award in 2013 - Young Gun of Wine

 

Data
Closure Screw Cap
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 13.5%
Product Code HD181478
UPC 9347466000153