Saturday, June 25, 2011

2010 Head Old Vine Grenache (Barossa Valley)

This is the best Grenache I have had.

Admittedly, I’ve not yet had the pleasure of a Chateau Rayas, or some of the other European benchmark Grenache. But of my own experience across Spanish Garnacha, Southern Rhone Grenache, and our own home-grown Grenache, this 2010 offering from Alex Head stands tall. It comes off an 80 year old vineyard from the Greenock sub-region in the Barossa.

This is a wine that needs plenty of air and time. It had a stalky bitterness on day one that I found a touch distracting, but by days two and three it had integrated and become part of the complex whole that is this fantastic wine. It smells beautiful. It’s perfumed and floral, with lovely berry fruit and spice. To drink it is perfectly ripe and balanced. Lovely sweet berry fruit on entry before turning more savoury the further it moves along the palate. Texture, intensity and weight all give the wine a sense of gravitas, and yet it retains a lightness of touch throughout. Fine, yet persistent acidity and tannins are evident, but not obtrusive, making it a wonderful food wine. A long finish tops it all off. To do the wine justice it needs to be left alone for at least a few years, and everything is there to suggest this is a Grenache for the long haul.

Apparently it’s all sold out now, but if you manage to find it around the traps, it’s worth paying above its RRP for. My score kept going up over the 3 days. 4.5 Stars.


RRP: $35
ABV: 14.5%


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