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Head Wines

Lot 1, Stonewell Rs, Stonewell, 5352

Cellar Door: Not

Ph: 0413 114 233

See Head Wines wines from Eden Valley region

Winemaker and Young Gun finalist Alex Head (photo courtesy: Head Wines)
wine label

Head Wines is the Cote Rotie influenced project of young winemaker, Alex Head.

After completing biochemistry at Sydney University Alex has worked widely across the industry in retail, importers, auction house and winery roles. He gained his producers license in 2008 and was a Young Gun of Wine finalist in 2011 and 2012.

Alex says: "When I started out in the wine industry, I quickly fell in love with Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, South Australia. However, it was the discovery of Shiraz (Syrah) from Côte Rotie in France's Rhone Valley that would ultimately give me the inspiration to work as a winemaker."

He employs substantial whole bunch inclusion techniques and also co-ferments with Viognier for The Blonde Shiraz. The grapes come from long term arrangements with local growers.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

New reviews

Head Rose 2016

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2018  

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2016, Trophy for Best Rose at Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2016, Grenache-based with some Viognier co-ferment, floral and slippery red cherry and raspberry with a touch of nectarine and ginger spice, some fresh strawberry emerges other down the palate, linear with crunchy pink grapefruit acidity (****1/2)

Head Rose 2015

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting:: Dec 2015, Trophy Winner for Best Rose at Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2015, Grenache-based with a touch of Viognier. pale copper colour, viscous strawberry, orange peel and raspberry with some herbs and gingery spice, good line and length (****1/2)

Head Wines The Brunette Shiraz 2013

Purchased: Not ($42)

Drink: 2025+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, firmer and more concentrated than the The Blonde but is still supple and elegant by Barossa standards, long and medium-full bodied blackberry and black cherry with cured meat, violet and liquorice notes, handsome ironstone minerality and spicy vanilla/mocha oak, grainy but pliant tannins (****1/2)

Head Wines The Blonde Shiraz 2013

Purchased: Not ($42)

Drink: 2023+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, silky black cherry, boysenberry and Satsuma plum with iris, sage and asian spice notes, plush and medium-full bodied with fine savoury tannins and a fresh acid spine and toasty oak spices (****1/2)

Head Wines Old Vine Grenache 2014

Purchased: Not ($37)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, from a 70 year old vineyard at Krondorf, 20% whole bunch inclusion, no fining or filtering, 12 months in 20 year old 2500 litre foudre, pure and aromatic red cherry and mulberry with liquorice, herbal meat, white pepper and rose petal notes, just medium bodied with attractive forest floor complexity, quite elegant with fine dusty tannins (****1/2)

Head Wines The Contrarian Syrah 2014

Purchased: Not ($42)

Drink: 2024+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, from an organic vineyard at Marananga in the western Barossa, partial whole bunch inclusion, perfumed and silky blackberry essence and blueberry with mint, black pepper, sage and anise notes, medium bodied with nervous sappy acidity, chewy and grainy tea-like tannins (****)

Head Red Shiraz 2014

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015,  sourced from 10 sites across the Barossa with small Grenache, Mataro and Cabernet inputs, partial whole bunch inclusion, fleshy blackberry, mulberry and blueberry with mint, sage and violet notes, medium bodied with herb-edged acidity and open knit grainy tannin grip (***1/2)

Head Red Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2014

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015,  bistro-style early drinking blend, fresh mulberry and strawberry with pepper and musk spices and a touch of sage, juicy and medium bodied with open-knit tannins and fresh citrussy acidity (***1/2)

Head Wines Nouveau 2014

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, a fresh light-medium bodied bistro style blend of Touriga and Mataro,   glossy cherry and plum with herbal meat nuances, an amarone bitter twist and a touch of sasparilla, the chalky tannins also provide a bit of grip on the finish (***1/2)

Head Wines Old Vine Grenache 2012

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, from 68 year old vines from Krondorf, split harvested, aged in old French oak puncheons, no fining or filtration, silky, fleshy and pure redcurrants and mulberries with peppery spices, anise and a dusting of garden herbs, medium bodied but feels light, foresty and lithe, some savoury/sweet interplay, has vibrant juicy acidity of the 2012 vintage, dusty tannins, needs time to open up, attractive Pinot-esque style (****1/2)

Head Wines The Blonde Shiraz Viognier 2012

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, pre-release tasting with Alex Head, this is from Stonewell with a 3% Viognier co-ferment, perfumed, soft, medium bodied and supple mulberries, red cherries and Satsuma plums with iris florals and asian spices, there is also a wash of toasty oak spices, fairly vibrant acid spine and fine tannins, the small Viognier co-ferment is just about the right proportion for a Barossa Shiraz (****1/2)

Head Wines The Contrarian Syrah 2012

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, pre-release tasting with Alex Head, from Greenock sub-region, 100% whole bunch, foot stomped, unfined and unfiltered, I find it often takes longer for the primary fruit to emerge from this much whole bunch but there is a already a nice silky, medium bodied core of black cherries and cassis but expect more to show in a year’s time, there’s lots of nervous sappy, herbal acidity, mint, some coffee-cedar oak and the Greenock’s ironstone minerals, firmish grainy tannins, this is pushing the boundaries but will be interesting to see what this looks in about five years time (****)

Head Wines The Brunette Moppa Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($55)

Drink: 2023+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, pre-release tasting with Alex Head, partial whole bunch, the firmest and most concentrated of the premiums but still has a silky, glycerolly mid-palate, medium-full bodied black cherry and plums with anise, herbal meat and violet notes, shows the rich ironstone minerality of the sub-region, the spicy vanilla new French oak is a bit overt at the moment but will settle down (****1/2)

Head Red Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2012

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, 20% whole bunch, aged in neutral oak, lithe and juicy redcurrants and blackberries with black pepper, cinnamon and herbal meat notes, medium bodied and minerally with open knit tannins, fresh bistro style for early consumption (***1/2)

Head Red Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, 20% whole bunch, mostly Greenock fruit with some Eden Valley in there for aromatics, little bits of Viognier, Grenache and Cabernet also in the mix, fleshy entry showing mulberry and blackberry that heads into a medium bodied glycerolly palate, some green pepper and mint in there as well, loose knit grainy tannins (***1/2)