Thursday, November 15, 2012

Head Wines (Shiraz)

Head Wines have created quite a buzz since coming onto the scene a few years ago, mainly because of the vibrancy of its fruit. The two major wines are two single vineyard wines from quite different sites. Cheekily, they are called Blonde and Brunette in reference to the famous Guigal wines from the Rhone.

Those who read my posts regularly will know that I am not too keen on vintage generalizations, but the 2011 vintage in Eastern Australia is an exception. The vintage was simply horrible with grapes not ripening and fighting mildew.

Therefore, I had quite low expectations when tasting the 2011 Head Blonde and the 2011 Head Brunette.  The Blonde is quite savoury and earthy, with fruit flavours of plum and raspberry not very concentrated. The structure of the wine is surprisingly good. There is a good grip on the finish (90 points).

The Brunette, which comes from a high quality Moppa vineyard, is usually the bigger and more concentrated wine, and so it is in 2011. This wine has a darker colour. The blackberry fruit delivers a rich mid palate. The oak is noticeable, but still in a supporting role. This wine has an elegant finish and is a terrific effort for the year (93 points).

Alex Head was present when I tasted the wines, and his explanation of 2011 was a new version of spin: "2011 has largely been misunderstood". He could not avoid a devious smile, though, and continued to talk about 2012. Be that as it may, the Head 2011 wines are pretty good drinking.

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