RedHeads Studios

La Curio The Nubile Grenache Shiraz 2010, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Drunk November 2013

The winery

Redheads Studio was established in 2003 is about an hour south of Adelaide, with the philosophy being Artisanship. The name was originally from a curry house restaurant which was the former occupier of the site. Redheads is a place where winemakers can go and experiment with their own ideas and make small batches of wine. The winemakers involved usually have a day job and go to Redheads to be free of their own winery's restrictions. A "Garagiste" approach which has produced some great wines. 

See earlier reviews on RedHeada wines:

Pieri Azzardo http://fermented-grape.squarespace.com/wines-i-am-drinking/2012/6/8/pieri-azzardo-2009-shiraz-mclaren-vale-australia.html

The Good Doctor's Tonic http://fermented-grape.squarespace.com/wines-i-am-drinking/2012/9/5/the-good-doctors-tonic-2010-mclaren-valeadelaide-hills-austr.html

La Curio was produced by Elena Golakova Adam Hooper, making their wines at Redheads. The two young producers are passionate about the wine they make, the region they live in and the lifestyle it provides. Golakova describes her passion as "winemaking is art". Adam has worked for such notable companies as Penfolds, Geoff Merrill Wines, Tatachilla Winery and Maxwell Wines. 

Wine is fermented in rain water tanks cut in half to allow open fermentation. Relationships are fostered with the regions' best growers and fruit is crushed and fermented in small batches. Experimentation seems the norm, wild yeasts are trialled. 'Taking risks can be scary but ultimately rewarding,' Hooper said.

One of his techniques involves freezing fermenting fruit with dry ice (a lot of it) to drop the temperature of the must. This smashes the cell walls in the skins and facilitates the extraction of colour and a subtle tannin profile. But Hooper says while this method is labour intensive, not to mention all the plunging involved with the open fermenters, the results are worth it.

 

The wine

The La Curio The Nubile is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Shiraz, the classic combination of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Deep crimson in the glass with strong aromas of cedar and vanilla. The palate is full of cherry and plums with a hint of spice. A long finish with balanced soft grainy tannins and acidity.  Another very nice and interesting wine from the RedHeads folk!

The Good Doctor's Tonic 2010, McLaren Vale/Adelaide Hills, Australia Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Tannat

Drunk September 2012

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The Winery

The Good Doctor's Tonic comes courtesy of RedHeads Studios in Australia.

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RedHeads Studio was set up in McLaren Vale in 2002 by Tony Laithwaite of Laithwaite's fame.  The studio is comprised of young winemakers like Adam Hooper (La Curio), Andrew Pieri (Azzardo), growers like Nat McMurtrie (Pikkara) and the local GP Matt Brown who is responsible for the Good Doctor. These wine obsessed folks, work for mainstream growers during their day jobs then come to RedHeads to experiment in their desire to make wines that are different to anything else on the market.

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The wine

I love the quirky text on the back of the bottle, "Understand the heart of the Good Doctor. By day, the curer of ills. By night, wine-head. The creator of hedonistic liquid delight. This bold elixir is not for the faint hearted. Enticed by the most intense parcels of fruit. It is smooth yet robust, with longevity to reward the brave. It is sure to enliven the senses and invigorate the soul. Enjoy your measure of the Good Doctor's tonic."

The Good Doctor, Dr Brown, has delivered indeed in producing a special red wine. its an unusual blend that it includes Tannat, best known for being grown in South West France and Uruguay. Tannat produces very tannic wines and in warm climates produces good fruit flavors while still retaining lots of natural acid, a good counterbalance to cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.

As the description on the bottle points out, is it long lived with layer after layer of fruity flavours. Black berry on top but with something unusual underneath, almost savoury/bitter. Another great red from Australia and RedHeads which unfortunately now is difficult to get hold of.