HEAD Ancestor Vine Grenache Mataro, Eden Valley
From the 160-year-old Stonegarden vineyard near Springton at 400m altitude in the coldest, driest and most remote part of the Eden Valley. The vines struggle to yield half a ton per acre on sandy loam over yellow clay and granite. Some whole-bunch fermentation is followed by maturation in 600-litres barrels.
An assiduously detailed Grenache boasting strident vinosity across a velour of raspberry, currant and plum, macerated in dark cherry liqueur and given lift and a mediating spike by 20% whole cluster. This can only come from ancient vines. In this case, vines dating back a whopping 156 years! Filigreed, sandy tannins and a bead of zesty acidity give form to the cascade of fruit.
98 points, Wine Companion (January 2017)
Deep red/purple, youthfully bright colour with a clean, bright, aromatic bouquet with mixed spices to the fore. It's rich and full-bodied, profound and lush in the mouth with a sweet fruit core surrounded by soft, ample tannins. It's complex with some savoury sides and a very long alcohol-warmed aftertaste. Excellent.
95 points, The Real Review (April 2017)
Very subtle and complex on the nose with leaf, rose petal, plum, strawberry and light nutmeg character. Full body, dense and rich yet lively and toned. The fine tannins give form and structure to this wine, not to mention energy.
95 points, JamesSuckling.com (January 2018)
'A 60/40 blend from the Stonegarden vineyard. 1000 bottles produced.
Raspberry, plum, blackberry, spice, spearmint, dried herbs, cut flower stem reduction, honey. Very savoury, very earthy, all dried herb and meat, plenty of grippy tannin, a clear almost mineral water thing happening with the acidity, very long and spicy to close. Curious wine. In evolution, I suspect.'
93+ points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, July 2019.
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.