Head Wines 'The Blonde ' Shiraz Viognier 2008 (Barossa, SA)
$28, Screwcap, 14.8%
Source: North Sydney Cellars
The companion wine to The Brunette, this is probably not my my favourite wine style, being a very ripe Barossan Shirognier (why, I ask, would you mix the petulant underperformer Viognier with as noble a creature as Barossa Shiraz? It's like adding Coke to 30 yr old Macallan), yet I can still see the attraction here.
Undoubtedly ripe, this quite jammy red starts off with a volatile and slightly baked meaty fruit expression that seduces with its opulence but also shows a smidgen of stewed fig overripeness. It's still fresh and lively however, so that's not such a problem as yet, though it's a character that I think intensifies with age. The palate is again sexy, with a textural richness of deep and mouthfilling Barossan dark berry fruit, al licoricey and berried, that carries through onto a rather warm finish, the warmth spreading out in your gullet like said Macallan.
What I do like here is the integration of fruit and underplaying of the Viognier. The only telltale signs of the V weed is the purple sheen to the juice, and the fact it says so on the label.
Don't tell him (Alex Head, the winemaker) I said so, but the oak integration is rather fine too, all adding up to a particularly well made wine.
This Blonde then is very attractive, well put together and is no gold digger ($28 well spent). Ultimately though, whilst gentleman may well prefer blondes, I would rather take home this wines more classy sister - The Brunette. 17.6/92
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