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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Head Wines The Contrarian Syrah 2010

"Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free"
Of course this is the opening line of this fine nation's national anthem, but equally it could be the call of the new wave of Barossan winemakers.  Predominantly young, but also free to make the wines they wish, in the manner they wish, from varietals they wish; free from the conventions of appelation, but by and large  inspired and influenced from time spent working under them.

Hand picked, 100% whole bunch, pigeage (foot stomping), wild yeast fermented, unfiltered and unfined - off of a single vineyard.  A wine requiring a bit of attention in the shed, the winemaker Alex Head unsure as to whether it will be made again.

Stalky, sappy notes lurk on opening - the 100% whole bunch.  Give it a good decant and this subsides somewhat, there's still a little sappiness in there, but they take a back seat to a perfume of rosemary and fruit in the form of plum and cassis. 

Rich, concentrated, touch of tar and chocolate - without even knowing I had a suspicion it was from Greenock.  Spice: cinnamon and some nutmeg round out the palate, carrying though to the grippy, mouth-coating tannin.  Natural linear progression to a fine length, full and generous.  Felt like it had just started to hit its straps after a day: 93/94 - Very Good/ Outstanding

Source: Retail, Vaucluse Cellars
Price: $35
Closure: Screwcap

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