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.
The vineyard in Stone Well at 280m practises sustainable farming techniques, including straw mulches. Open-fermented, 100% whole bunch, matured in French oak, 300 dozen made. Delicious surge/uplift on the finish.
95 points, Wine Companion (February 2020)
Perfume and seduction, vanilla cream, plum and apricot kernel, suggestion of marmalade, but kind of refined too. It’s silky and fruit sweet, glide and gloss, fine texture to the dense tannin, peach skin and red fruit, acidity sits neatly inside the wine, and the finish is long and fine. Pure Barossa.
95 points, The Wine Front (February 2020)
Very deep red/purple colour, dark and brooding. Pepper, spice and ironstone aromas, coal dust and smoke, the palate firm and concentrated, with plenty of oomph and a long aftertaste. The tannins are smooth and ample, helping carry the flavour.
94 points, The Real Review (February 2020)
From the limestone-base soils of Stonewell, this has a very complex and spicy dark-plum and blackberry nose. Espresso and dark-chocolate notes, too. The palate is deeply flavored with blackberry, black-cherry and blood-plum flavors, as well as toasted spices and mocha. Smooth tannins. Medium-to full-bodied, very concentrated and very drinkable already.
96 points, JamesSuckling.com (August 2020)
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.