Head Old Vine Grenache 2012 (Barossa Valley, SA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $40
The notion that Grenache is the Pinot Noir of the Barossa continues to (re)gain steam.
I was chatting only yesterday with Marco Cirillo (of Cirillo Estate, who helped Alex Head make the earlier vintages of this very wine) about the idea that Barossa Grenache is often best expressed as a silky, mid-weight wine. Marco’s old-oak matured, old-vine sourced ‘Vincent’ Grenache is a very apt example of the style, his 1850 Grenache in a similar vein just with more intensity.
This 2012 Head Grenache is probably the lightest, most delicate – and perhaps the most easily drinkable – Grenache to come from Alex Head yet the style (to paraphrase Alex himself) something of a tribute to the wonderfully fruit-driven, gentle Barossan Grenache of yore.
Sourced from a single vineyard in Krondorf, this was fermented with partial whole bunches (which is going to promote some carbonic maceration and give juiciness) in old oak before bottling with minimal sulphur and no fining or filtration.
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Delicate, unforced and pure – this ticks every box for good, Pinot-esque Grenache. I think I’d like just a little more weight, but the prettiness and liveliness makes this quite wonderful.
Score: 18/20 93/100
Would I buy it? Yes.
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