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.
'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.
159yo vines. 50% grenache, 50% mataro. 10% whole bunches. Immense concentration and yet the flavours are bell clear. This puts the super into premium. It bursts cherries and berries onto the palate and then stamps earth, spices and assorted petals all over. It's dry, serious and joyous at once. There's a whip crack of tannin and rockets of flavour through the finish.
97 points, Wine Companion (January 2019)
Such impressive freshness and purity here. Abundant raspberries define the palate, together with ripe tannins. The red fruit holds fresh, as deeper tones of mataro chime in and extend the long, flavorful finish.
95 points, JamesSuckling.com (May 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.