The Blonde 2010
The Blonde vineyard is consistently in the top few performing vineyards each year and has done so for 13 years. The Shiraz (Clone 1654) vineyard is planted in the Stone Well parish on a small rise of 280m, below the western ridge of the Barossa Valley, comprised of a myriad of soil and rock types including red clays, sands and a deep limestone base — blonde in colour. It is these unique rocks and soils that help produce riper, plumper, sweeter fruited wine than surrounding vineyards, while still retaining acidity due to the higher limestone content of the soil.
Region: Stone Well, Barossa Valley
Volume (ml): 750ml
Alcohol Vol. (%): 14.5
Standard Drinks: 8.5
2010 HEAD ‘The Blonde’ Shiraz Viognier, Single Vineyard, Stonewell (450 cases). 2010 saw flavours in the grapes develop at lower sugar levels than previous years. The final alcohol in this wine is therefore a little lower than usual for The Blonde. Two separate fermentation styles and two percent co-fermented viognier skins also add to the strength of this wine. At the time of picking, the tannins in the grapes were already soft and I selected a lighter toast level to keep the fruit purity and aromatic profile true to the vineyard. Deep crimson and purple colours. On the nose; blood plum, blue fruits and pomegranate, cinnamon spice, vanilla cream and incense. The entrance is typically plump and soft with Christmas pudding flavours at the core. Sweet fruit derived tannins dominate the smooth finish. Unfined & Unfiltered. Alc 14.0%. Drink 2012-2027.
From the Stonewell sub-region of the Barossa. 450 dozen made, it says on the front label. Bright purple fruit and fragrant floral notes, which I suspect are as much to do with the vintage and vineyard than Viognier influence – that pesky grape is well toned back here. Think cherries and purple things, raw steak, chocolate and benign oak influence. It’s medium to full in weight, of remarkable purity, and sports a mass of ultra-fine milk chocolate tannin. The impulse to swallow is strong with this one, Alex. Long, strong and delicious – now or much later. Woah. Rated : 96 PointsGary Walsh - Wine Front