|David O'Leary really knows about things Cabernet Sauvignon, having claimed a Jimmy Watson Trophy and twice International Red Wine Maker of the Year. From low yielding vines up to fifty years of age, grown to superior sites within the Armagh Valley and Polish Hill River districts, the O'Leary Walker team create a powerful and complex, exquisitely perfumed and seamlessly layered Cabernet Sauvignon, framed by judicious oak and supported by graceful tannins, reflecting the idyllic growing climes of Valley Clare. OLeary Walker»|
|Mission Estate's Greenmeadows was planted to vine in 1910, there's relatively little difference between day and night temperatures, perfect conditions for ripening an elite parcel of Hawke's Bay's most exceptional Chardonnay. Hand picked bunches off a single block of Mendoza and Clone 15, are lightly pressed and barrel fermented in a selection of new and seasoned French oak, followed by ten months of age on sedimentery yeast lees. Mission Estate»|
|Excellent Langtons Classification. An eminent performer on the international wine show circuit, one of the nation's most celebrated Shiraz, the best of McLaren Vale. Fox Creek»|
|Margaret River makes mighty Cabernet but Clairault make a priority of gentle winemaking. Parcels are cannily crushed so that each berry is only, barely just split, affording the ferments minimal berry degradation, encouraging the retention of fresh, clean varietal Cabernet characters in the finished wine. Clairault»|
|Thorn-Clarke are one of the Braossa's most salubrious grower families, by appointment to Australia's most recognized brands. Thely can be proud of six generations in Barossa viticulture, a timeless source of Shiraz for the nation's most memorable vintages. Thorn Clarke»|
|Crafted by a rising star of the Padthaway region, recipients South Australian Cabernet Of Year Trophy and runner-up South Australian Wine Of Year. Five generations of viticulture make Browns one of the few family owned labels producing conspicuous local Shiraz. Browns of Padthaway»|
|The Maxwell family's Meads have been acclaimed by leading wine critics and industry press for many decades. Starting with a base of Spiced Mead, a secret herb and spice infusion is introduced and the ferments are fortified. Maxwell»|
|Following a visit to France where he studied the ancient pastoral practices of breeding the world's best chickens, Adam Marks gained the inspiration to create great Australian wines in the very same manner, adopting an artisanal approach to production, employing traditional, age old methods. Gold Label is the flagship Shiraz by one of Victoria's most adroit, small batch producers. Bress»|
|A mostly Cabernet wine with a tenth of Merlot, a jot of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, representing almost a third of Hollick's annual production. Previous vintages of Tannery Block have won numerous prestigious awards, including the pre-eminent Jimmy Watson, Robert Bryce and Arthur Kelman Trophies. Hollick»|
|Villa Maria possess the magic touch with Pinot Gris, regularly clearing international wine events of prestigious trophies. Private Bin has been included in the Decanter Top 50 Best Under £10 and identified as a Decanter favourite. Villa Maria»|
|The wines of Shadowfax have gone from strength to strength in a very short space of time, due in no small part to the remarkable quality of fruit. A prolific trophy winner, Shadowfax have achieved the new wave of Chardonnay, refreshingly fruit driven, livelier than it's Victorian siblings, characterised by slatey, flavoursome acidity, a touch of lees complexity and judicious dryness. Shadowfax»|
|Valley Clare yields a distinct style of Cabernet Sauvignon, characterized by sweet dark berry flavours, regional mintyness and rolling velvet tannins. Reilly's know Clare Valley very well, highly selective in their choice of terroir, they have set aside harvests from their most precious blocks, hand picked grapes off dry grown vines, open fermented and basket pressed, matured twenty two months in the best French oak. Reillys»|
Each release of Head not only represents Alex Head's strong views on what makes balanced, drinkable wines but a guarantee of absolute quality, value and consistency
Head Wines is an open journey of learning. Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go. Graduating from Sydney University in 1997 with a degree in Biochemistry, Alex entered the Wine Industry. After a trip through the major wine-growing vineyards of Europe, he immediately started working in fine-wine management, wholesale importing and an auction house to gain a broad understanding of the world of fine wine. He then worked vintages with the wineries he held in the highest regard. Tyrrells in the Hunter, Torbreck, Laughing Jack and Cirillo Estate in the Barossa Valley followed and in December of 2008 he gained a Producers Licence and released his first wines to the public.
Alex has long been interested in Old-World wines and their symbiosis with all things culinary; particularly Shiraz from an appellation in Frances Northern Rhone Valley called Cote Rotie (roasted slope). Shiraz has been the only red grape grown there for thousands of years, initially thought to have been cultivated by the Roman Empire. When Alex started out in the wine industry, he quickly fell in love with shiraz from the Barossa. However, it was the discovery of shiraz from Côte Rotie in Frances Rhone Valley that would ultimately give him the inspiration to work as a winemaker.
A great legend states that in the Middle Ages, a Seigneur of Ampuis called Count Maugiron owned the steeply terraced hills of Cote Rotie. He was also blessed with two beautiful daughters, one a blonde and the other a brunette. When Count Maugiron finally retired he passed on the two Cotes to his daughters and to this day, they are still referred to as the Cote Blonde and Cote Brune.
The Southern slope of the Cote (also suited to viognier) which contains more granite, mica and limestone made a softer, rounded more elegant wine which delighted its drinkers with perfume and femininity. Here, the soil and wines showed colour and character of his blonde daughter.
The Northern slope contained heavy soils of schist and iron, producing an intense wine with dark fruits and tannin that required age to show its true potential. Here, the soil and wine showed colour and character of Count Maugiron's brunette daughter.
These soil structures and colours are of utmost importance to the properties of the fruit which grow in these vineyards. For Alex's unique Barossa Valley wines, he selected two vineyard sites where, similar to Côte Rotie, the soils produce contrasting styles of Shiraz. The Blonde comes from a vineyard in Stonewell, which consists of sandy loam mixed with quartz on a limestone base that gives the wine accentuated perfume and complexity. The Brunette comes from a high elevation vineyard in Moppa, which consists of heavy soils of deep red clay and ironstone that give structure, longevity and reward from cellaring.
It’s hard to generalise about vintages when the grapes that you are using come from 6 different growers and 5 different varieties (early and late ripening) to make 5 unique wines. When you read a vintage report about a mass producer it has absolutely no relevance to a small producer like Head Wines. The fruit is micro managed every stage from vineyard to winemaking to bottling to ensure that the highest quality level is maintained.