Heels Over Head

2000 Syrah from Alban Vyd

According to the winery, this was a single experimental barrel made for our friends at the GRATEFUL PALATE only.

According to Jeff Leve on his website The Wine Cellar Insider, Heels over Head is the rarest Sine Qua Non wine after the Queen of Spades. The wine was a semi joint venture between Manfred Krankl and Dan Phillips of the Grateful Palate. Phillips purchased a barrel and raised it in 100% new American oak without the assistance of Krankl. Under 300 bottles were produced. The wine was sold to customers of The Grateful Palate.

More specifically, Manfred told me,
The whole idea was to test out American oak and its influence on a wine. I had tried all sorts of different American oak. This one was American oak that was air dried and coopered in Australia and it had a MUCH more pronounced eucalyptus quality, something that is often associated with some Australian wines.

So this is quite different from IN FLAGRANTE [2000 SQN Syrah] in that
  1. it was a single barrel and thus had a singular barrel expression from that particular barrel,
  2. it was a single Syrah — from one vineyard and one pick (Alban in this case),
as opposed to a cuvee as the IN FLAGRANTE was.

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All original content © Ken Vastola