The Society’s exclusive range of Blind Spot wines is one of our most exciting ventures in recent years and helps our members to get the best of Australian vineyards at what many leading wine critics agree is incredible value. It was developed because our Australia Buyer Pierre Mansour realised we were missing out on opportunities to sample some of the country’s most interesting treasures: the tiny parcels of exquisite grapes that are often swallowed up in large-scale Australian blends.
Although most of The Society’s Australian producers are small-scale winemakers making top quality wine, the industry is still dominated by much larger companies who have access to fruit from a huge and diverse range of vineyard sites. Some of these are hidden gems, doomed to remain in the collective “blind spot”.
It’s impossible for us to find them by ourselves, so we needed to find a man who could, to act as our eyes, ears and palate when it comes to grabbing these excellent but limited opportunities. Mac Forbes was the obvious candidate for this role: not only is he a fantastic winemaker in his own right, but his extensive experience working for big Australian wineries means he knows exactly where to look for these intriguing parcels of grapes. He sends The Society samples of the most promising selections, and we then carefully streamline his suggestions, choosing only the ones that best suit our members’ tastes. Mac even bottles the wines for us, and this - combined with the fact that his expertise allows us to buy in bulk with confidence - is exactly why we can offer them at such a competitive price. One of the most interesting features of the Blind Spot range is its opportunism: because we rely on one-off discoveries, we may not be able to replicate future vintages of many of the wines in our range, but the wines we do feature will always be something special.
For instance, we may have exhausted our supplies of the popular Sangiovese we sold the year we launched the range, but the following year we managed to find a benchmark example of a Clare Valley riesling and sell it at a price accessible to all members. That’s the beauty of Blind Spot: it’s a moveable feast, constantly evolving and bringing us new discoveries to enjoy each year.