HEAD The Brunette Shiraz, Barossa Valley
The fruit for ‘The Brunette’ comes from a truly unique vineyard site on top of Moppa Hill, on a moderate incline ranging from around 340m to 380m altitude and faces east, perfect for catching the morning sun. Planted with 1654 Shiraz clone to approximately 2 hectares. The soils are lean red clays with seams of ironstone–brunette in colour–which produce optimum conditions for dark, savoury fruits and fine, structured tannins.
Intense black-stone, coal-smoke, tar and asphalt aromas with abundant dark plums, blackberries and hints of spiced chocolate. The palate has a deeply defined and detailed feel with a long, chiseled-tannin core that really extends full and fleshy into the ripe, rich finish.
94 points, JamesSuckling.com (June 2019)
'Deep red/purple colour, with a smoky, slightly cooked fruit aromas - without loss of vitality - the palate rich and deep, ample-bodied, rounded and harmonious. The wine is beautifully rounded and has terrific line. It lingers on and on. Soft tannins and black fruits. A totally satisfying glass of full-bodied shiraz. From the Moppa hills. 20% whole-bunch; 30% new oak. Barrique aged.'
95 points, Huno Hooke, The Real Review, April 2019.
'Chocolate, rosemary, wet earth, pepper, blue and black fruit. Medium-bodied, tannin is pretty grippy and gritty, and dry, blue fruits and chocolate, mocha and earth, dry and spicy to close. A little sausage too. Cool vintage showing in a wine with a furrowed brow.'
92 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, May 2019.
The soils are red clays with mixed ironstone and quartz, the vineyard with a perfect easterly slope. Open-fermented with 20% skin retention, 2 weeks on skins, matured in French barriques (33% new), 200 dozen made. Deep crimson; superb mouthfeel and varietal expression are anchored by red and black cherry fruit. Medium to full-bodied, but not heavy.
97 points, Wine Companion (September 2019)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
Alex Head is part of the new generation of small Barossa winemakers creating wines in a new, more elegant style. Inspired by the wines of the Rhone valley, Alex Head sources small-parcels of old vine fruit and uses traditional vinification techniques to produce wines with perfume, vibrant fruit and savoury complexity. Head’s aim is maximum drinkability, which he successfully achieves by emphasising freshness, balance, texture and fruit purity. Eight wines are made under the Head label, including the Blonde and the Brunette inspired by the legendary wines of the Northern Rhone.