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The Just Ripe: Big Head Red

First off; full disclosure… I want to say “I work at Big Head Winery and I love the wines there”, of course I do… they’re amazing. I am not bias, just come visit me at work and see for yourself. They are making wines in an honest way. A winery showing that year after year wine changes with the weather and farming. A winery that is constantly experimenting and learning new ways to adapt and create great wine for you! Their wines are made by spontaneous fermentation which means that they are not buying yeast to create the fermentation of grape juice to wine. The yeast and bacteria that develop on the skins of the grapes in the vineyard stays on the fruit when we bring it into the winery and “POOF” that’s all the yeast they need. It’s basically the ‘sourdough’ approach to winemaking (sourdough is sooo good).

Currently there is one wine in particular that is taking up all the shelf space on my wine rack at home and that is the 2017 Big Head Red. It’s my ol’faithful, the go to on any night of the week from Monday to Sunday. I know its reliable and won’t leave me full of regrets the morning after. 2017 was a great year for wines in Niagara, the cooler summer developed so much complexity in the fruit and the warm and sunny fall created the sugar ripeness in the grapes providing an all around longer growing time. A vintage that Andrzej Lipinski, the winemaker and owner at Big Head Winery, claims to be the best he’s ever seen in his winemaking career in Niagara.

This wine is full of flavour and packed full of great intensity. A nose of baking spice and a touch of chocolate followed with raspberries and sweet cherries that translate to this whole sweet and sour thing on the palate. There is a great zesty twist that forces the edges of your mouth to curl up just at the corners. This wine is made from a blend of four different grape varieties: 50% Cab Franc, 30% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 10% Dornfelder. It’s a wine to keep you warm in the last few days of spring, keeping the day dreams of warm summer nights. It brings memories of a slew of sprinklers abruptly turning on in the mid of a hot summer night, the smell of wet pavement and drops of water beading down ripe strawberries still warm with the heat of the summer sun. The bright acidity peer pressuring you to drive into the pool totally stark. Its great, affordable and mad chillable. If you don’t have this at home you should come get some. It’s definitely my house wine and should be yours too.

Wine: 2017 Big Head Red
Cost: $21
Winery: Big Head Winery
Address: 304 Hunter Rd. Niagara on the Lake

Written by Lindsay Schwenker

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