Wines made by Mac Forbes with grapes paid for upfront by The Wine Society. The one-off exception is the Dolcetto, which was made with a purchased parcel of wine, as all the range used to be
The Wine Society's Blind Spot Australian range has been a fixture for about a decade, but the latest arrivals mark a change in direction. And we're not just talking about labels here, dramatically different though they are.
Instead of being parcels of wine that winemaker Mac Forbes picked up for the Society at an early stage, before they were subsumed into big producers' blending vats, three of the new wines, the Garganega, Pinot Meunier and Syrah, were made by Mac for the Society from grapes he identified and then bought with funds provided by the Society.
The 2020 Dolcetto is the exception, in that it was bought earlier as wine, but in future all the wines – six from the 2022 vintage – will be made from grapes vinified by Mac.
Shelling out for the grapes up to a year before a wine is released is quite a departure and innovation for the Society. On that note, let's get on to the wines, which are worthy of attention. I wouldn't give them house room if they weren't.
The empty bottles weigh 450g
The Blind Spot King Valley Garganega 2021, £11.50
Made from Garganega, best known as the main grape variety of Soave, this combines the satisfying textural quality of wild-fermented grapes with the light-footed springy freshness of juicy pears, citrus, orchard blossom and a closing flourish of almond-brushed salted lime. 12.5%
The Blind Spot Yarra Valley Pinot Meunier 2021, £12.95
This is being offered as a red wine, but it's deep pink, should be served lightly chilled, or even colder, and works beautifully as an aperitif. It also goes well with food, but I'm going to say more about its deliciousness and food pairing when (very soon) it's my Wine of the Week. 11%.
The Blind Spot Adelaide Hills Dolcetto 2020, £11.50
A food-friendly Australian take on Piemonte's Dolcetto grape. Fleshy, bouncy, sweet and tangy red-cherry fruit with touches of dried herbs and tobacco; medium-bodied, low on tannin and high on freshness. Serve cool/lightly chilled. I enjoyed it with a rich duck-stock risotto dressed with a top estate Tuscan olive oil and then with venison and pork sausage. 13%
The Blind Spot Grampians Syrah 2021, £12.95
Wonderfully aromatic, generously flavoured and smooth, and effortlessly fresh too. Perfumed bramble berries, black cherry and spicy black pepper streaked with orange zest and liquorice. Think casseroles, beans, pulses, barbecued meats... 14%
The empty bottles weigh 450g.
All wines sold by The Wine Society
Photograph by Joanna Simon