Named for the red and grey sand clays (blonde in colour) which line the vineyards from which it hails in the Stone Well sub-region of the Barossa Valley, 'The Blonde' has regional flair in spades. Winemaker Alex Head has been on an impressive trajectory over the past decade in the Barossa and exhibited a strong dedication to showcasing the inherent qualities of the land through his craft, making for wines that are at once classic and modern. If you haven't yet had a chance to try them, 'The Blonde' is an excellent place to start.
Deep red/purple hue and a a complex, foresty, earthy, sousbois aspect to the nose. A surprising hint of white pepper -- but it was a cool year. The wine is full-bodied but not massive, with fine, mild tannins and a degree of elegance. Lovely balance. Oak doesn't show. (Stonewell fruit. 10% whole-bunch, 20% new oak. Barrique-aged)
94 points, The Real Review (April 2019)
Impressive fragrance and complexity here with ripe blackberries and raspberries, delivered with a fresh array of orange zest and gently tarry nuances. The palate has a very composed and contained feel with dark plums and blackberries that hold long and focused.
94 points, JamesSuckling.com (June 2019)
Baking spice, a little vanilla, wet earthiness, blue fruit. Medium-bodied, berries and spice, mushroom and umami, but ample sweetness of fruit there. Tannin is firm and lightly grainy, finish again cooler and savoury in style, reflecting the vintage. Nicely turned out.
93 points, The Wine Front (May 2019)
The vineyard soil is red clay sand with a deep limestone base, blonde in colour. Open-fermented with 10% stems retained, matured in French oak (30% new), 300 dozen made. Vibrant wine, light to medium-bodied, with fresh and vibrant red fruits and silky tannins.
96 points, Wine Companion (September 2019)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
Alex Head is part of the new generation of small Barossa winemakers creating wines in a new, more elegant style. Inspired by the wines of the Rhone valley, Alex Head sources small-parcels of old vine fruit and uses traditional vinification techniques to produce wines with perfume, vibrant fruit and savoury complexity. Head’s aim is maximum drinkability, which he successfully achieves by emphasising freshness, balance, texture and fruit purity. Eight wines are made under the Head label, including the Blonde and the Brunette inspired by the legendary wines of the Northern Rhone.