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WINE OF THE WEEK: Blind Spot Touriga Nacional 2020, Langhorne Creek/McLaren Vale, Australia

£10.95, The Wine Society

This is one of a trio of interesting reds that The Wine Society has just added to its Blind Spot Australian range (the others are a Montepulciano and a Carignan). I’ve written about the thinking behind the range before here but, in a nutshell, they’re wines made from small parcels of top-quality grapes, ferreted out before they disappear into big-company blends. The Society chooses from samples sent by its man down under, winemaker Mac Forbes, and he makes and bottles the wine. They’re usually very good value.

The Touriga Nacional, a Langhorne Creek/McLaren Vale blend, is darkly fruity with ripe black berries and violets, smoky mineral notes and a splash of spice, vanilla oak and dark chocolate. It’s really quite sumptuous, but not heavy on alcohol and with a savoury freshness that the celebrated port grape has on its home turf in the Douro. It’s ready now but will happily evolve over the next four or five years.

If Touriga isn’t a variety you associate with Australia, it’s long been there on a small scale, originally planted for fortified wines, like most varieties. It’s attracting attention now for table wines (as it has been for the last 20–30 years in the Douro), appreciated not just for its undisputed quality potential but its heat tolerance.

It goes very well with venison (I had it with haunch steaks flavoured with juniper, rosemary and orange zest and deglazed with tawny port, a spot of redcurrant jelly and crème fraiche) and would also suit lamb, barbary duck, meaty sausages, casseroles or black bean dishes. 13%

Blind Spot Touriga Nacional 2020, Langhorne Creek/McLaren Vale, Australia


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