The Wine Society's Blind Spot Pinot Noir was my Wine of the Week recently, but it was hard to choose just one from the new range, so I promised to review the other wines I tasted. Voilà! (What makes you think I'm in France at the moment?) The Blind Spot wines are sourced in Australia specifically for the Society by Mac Forbes (right), a Yarra Valley native who cut his winemaking teeth (or some of them) in Europe and specialises in Burgundian inspired Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. For The Wine Society he seeks out parcels of top-quality grapes that would otherwise be lost in big-volume blends and produces wines in a sophisticated, new-wave Australian style – purity and elegance, not brawn. The value for money of the whole range is excellent and all are exclusive to The Wine Society. The new label design is by Melbourne-based artist Siobhan Donoghue.
Blind Spot King Valley Garganega 2016, £8.95
Best known for its role in Soave, Garganega shows real promise in King Valley, Victoria.
Unoaked, spritely, medium-bodied with a gentle perfume of stored apples and jasmine, and lemon-cum-grapefruit, green apples and chalky minerality on the palate. Delightful. Drink as an aperitif or with seafood, salads or simple pasta. Bring on the spaghetti alle vongole.
Blind Spot Clare Valley Riesling 2016, £8.95
Textbook Clare Riesling, but let it breathe in your glass to open up. Sappy, lemon nose and a racy, crisp, bone-dry palate of lime and apple – apple that starts as Granny Smith and becomes sweeter Pink Lady. Only 11.5% alcohol, but lots of flavour and verve.
Blind Spot Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2016, £9.50
Elegant, lightly oaked, cool-climate Australian Chardonnay. Fresh lemon with a hint of apricot/peach, delicate toast, spice and creamy texture, a mineral spine and appetising acidity. Sophisticated restraint. Impressive complexity at the price.
Blind Spot King Valley Barbera 2015, £9.50
Juicy and supple with lively, bright, plum and cherry fruit, a light dusting of vanilla and toast and a refreshing, almost salty edge. Medium-bodied and good with lamb chops and kid chops (should you have any to hand – I did). It was also at ease with butter beans in a fresh tomato sauce and tolerated artichokes.
Blind Spot Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2016, £10.95
Seamless and sleek with sappy rose and cherry aromas against the subtlest of oak backdrops. See Wine of the Week.
Blind Spot McLaren Vale Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvèdre 2015, £7.95
Traditional but polished Aussie GSM blend. Spicy and perfumed: cherries and aromatic herbs on the nose, sweet cherries, bilberries and hedgerow berries on the palate. Smooth, full, dry and ripe, with oak adding a touch of chocolate-vanilla-toast, and Mourvèdre giving a savoury, earthy freshness to the finish.
Blind Spot Old Vine McLaren Vale Mataro. 2015, £9.50
Full-bodied spicy, peppery Mourvèdre under its traditional Australian name of Mataro. Sweet black fruit, bilberry and dusty plum, together with black pepper, earth and liquorice. Succulent and creamy with ripe tannins pulled along by an appetising dry, earthy, savoury undertow.