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Blind Spot King Valley Barbera 2015

Red Wine from Australia - Victoria
The Blind Spot range has been revamped with a fresh new look, and now sports a label designed by Melbourne-based modern artist Siobhan Donoghue. This wine is brand new to the range: a barbera from Australia's ‘little Italy', King Valley. Notes of black cherry and leather with ripe but firm tannins and a juicy fresh finish. A great unexpectedly easy-drinking red snapped up by our man-on-the-ground Mac Forbes.
is no longer available
Code: AU19321

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Barbera
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Screwcap

Victoria

Victoria is the southernmost state on the Australian mainland and contains within its borders a diverse collection of terroirs, perhaps the most varied within Australia. This diversity has helped the state to earn an enviable reputation for the quality of its wines, the areas that they hail from and its wineries.

It has a long history since the first settlers in the region planted vines, but the catalyst for expansion was the gold rush of the mid-19th century which saw many a vineyard established. This promising start was stalled dramatically by the arrival of phylloxera in the 1870’s and to this day the Victoria produce less than half the amount produced in neighbouring South Australia despite having many more vineyards.

Despite its small size (it is the smallest state other than Tasmania) it has an amazing diversity of terroirs, from the dry, torrid north-east where fortified wines are king, to the positively chilly by comparison Mornington Peninsula due south of Melbourne on the...
Victoria is the southernmost state on the Australian mainland and contains within its borders a diverse collection of terroirs, perhaps the most varied within Australia. This diversity has helped the state to earn an enviable reputation for the quality of its wines, the areas that they hail from and its wineries.

It has a long history since the first settlers in the region planted vines, but the catalyst for expansion was the gold rush of the mid-19th century which saw many a vineyard established. This promising start was stalled dramatically by the arrival of phylloxera in the 1870’s and to this day the Victoria produce less than half the amount produced in neighbouring South Australia despite having many more vineyards.

Despite its small size (it is the smallest state other than Tasmania) it has an amazing diversity of terroirs, from the dry, torrid north-east where fortified wines are king, to the positively chilly by comparison Mornington Peninsula due south of Melbourne on the coast. It also embraces a fair chunk of the Murray Darling region where irrigation makes the vast expanses of vineyard a possibility and from where three quarters of the state’s grape yield derives.

The Yarra Valley is a short car ride to the north of Melbourne, and has a wide selection of tourist diversions to prove it. It also has an array of excellent estates and vineyards at various elevations and in a variety of soils, from clay and sand to volcanic. Rediscovered in the 1960s and prized for its cool nights and warm, sunny days, it has become synonymous with excellent pinot noirs and elegant, intense chardonnays that are doing much to reclaim Australia’s reputation for the variety. Shiraz has also proved a success in a more restrained style.

To the south of Melbourne, and benefiting fully from an unrelenting oceanic influence on its doorstep is the Mornington Peninsula. Surrounded by the Southern Ocean and Port Phillip Bay on three sides, and moderated by the breezes these expanses of water generate the summer climate on the peninsula is for the most part temperate. This is a region of small estates producing some of the most elegant and refined pinot noirs in the new world let alone Australia. The soils vary from volcanic deposits to sandy clay and after pinot noir there is fine chardonnay and an increasing volume of pinot gris. Close to Melbourne the area of Geelong enjoys a windy, maritime climate but is slightly warmer, making plump pinot and some delicious shiraz and chardonnay.

In the north-east lies one of the great wine regions of Australia, though it is not shiraz, or chardonnay nor riesling for which it is famed, but rather the muscat grape, made into a fortified treasure that is unique to the area and which is one of Australia’s great vinous jewels. Rutherglen Liqueur Muscats, and Muscadelles, can hold their head up in the company of any great port, sherry or Madeira for their rich, complex, silky and concentrated character. The summers here are torrid, the landscape arid and the grapes full of sugar. And the red table wines made are dense, brooding examples that are improving all the time. But it is the joyous fortifieds that steal the show.
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Blind Spot

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...
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.
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Australia Vintage 2015

South Australia had a mixed 2015, with a cool start to the season but a warm finish that meant the harvest came all at once, and some wineries felt the pressure on tank space. Drought pressure continues to be an issue in many parts of SA too.

Victoria and Tasmania, meanwhile, had a near perfect vintage, with moderate spring rainfall and a warm summer with no extreme spikes. A dry and cool March lead to a very clean and easy harvest.

Western Australia has had a decade of good vintages, but 2015 was a little trickier mainly due to birds devouring the lion’s share of the grapes in some vineyards, and poor flower set thanks to rain or hail. The grapes that did make it to harvest, however, look excellent but yields are significantly down.

New South Wales endured an indifferent vintage in the main, with rain at inopportune times. Canberra and Orange were the only areas to report success on any scale, though the best wineries wherever they are will have made the right decisions to achieve the ...
South Australia had a mixed 2015, with a cool start to the season but a warm finish that meant the harvest came all at once, and some wineries felt the pressure on tank space. Drought pressure continues to be an issue in many parts of SA too.

Victoria and Tasmania, meanwhile, had a near perfect vintage, with moderate spring rainfall and a warm summer with no extreme spikes. A dry and cool March lead to a very clean and easy harvest.

Western Australia has had a decade of good vintages, but 2015 was a little trickier mainly due to birds devouring the lion’s share of the grapes in some vineyards, and poor flower set thanks to rain or hail. The grapes that did make it to harvest, however, look excellent but yields are significantly down.

New South Wales endured an indifferent vintage in the main, with rain at inopportune times. Canberra and Orange were the only areas to report success on any scale, though the best wineries wherever they are will have made the right decisions to achieve the best outcome.
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2015 vintage reviews

wineanorak.com

Sleek black cherryfruit here with a lovely open personality. This has a smooth quality to thefruit with cherries, tar and herbs. Warm and autumnal with lovely fruitiness.Dark and satisfying.

- Jamie Goode

Newcastle Journal

This black cherry andplum-flavoured grape from north west Italy typically has lots of juicy aciditybut not a great deal of tannin, which means that it may be served just a bitcooler than other reds. This...
This black cherry andplum-flavoured grape from north west Italy typically has lots of juicy aciditybut not a great deal of tannin, which means that it may be served just a bitcooler than other reds. This wine has been given a bit more structure by beingmatured in oak barrels, a trick the Italians often emply, but it remainsrefreshingly fruity.
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- Helen Savage

joannasimon.com

Juicy and supple withlively, bright, plum and cherry fruit, a light dusting of vanilla and toast anda refreshing, almost salty edge. Medium-bodied and good with lamb chops and kidchops (should you have...
Juicy and supple withlively, bright, plum and cherry fruit, a light dusting of vanilla and toast anda refreshing, almost salty edge. Medium-bodied and good with lamb chops and kidchops (should you have any to hand – I did). It was also at ease with butterbeans in a fresh tomato sauce and tolerated artichokes.
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- Joanna Simon

Knackered Mothers Wine Club

Such a clever idea,this: get a tip top winemaker to snap up small-ish parcels of wine for you andsell them under an exclusive label. Made from the Barbera grape usually foundin Italian vineyards but here, ...
Such a clever idea,this: get a tip top winemaker to snap up small-ish parcels of wine for you andsell them under an exclusive label. Made from the Barbera grape usually foundin Italian vineyards but here, it’s put down roots in Australia’s Victoria region.Loves it, too: with gorgeous black cherry fruits, spice and a touch of leather.Ours went down brilliantly with big bowls of Bolognese.
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- Helen McGinn

Wine-pages.com

There's such a rangeof 'alternative varieties' planted in Australia now, and Victoria seems to behome to more than most. Indigenous to northern Italy, this Barbera is typicallydeep and vibrant ...
There's such a rangeof 'alternative varieties' planted in Australia now, and Victoria seems to behome to more than most. Indigenous to northern Italy, this Barbera is typicallydeep and vibrant in colour, and driven by its racy, Indian inky cherry skin fruitthat is bittersweet with the bite of cherry skin tannin and acidity against thesweet flesh of the fruit. There's a pleasing herb or coal dust dry mineralquality to add interest too in a highly quaffable style.
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- Tom Cannavan

independent.co.uk

A fabulous find fromthe Wine Society and part of its Blind Spot range of individual varietal winesfrom small vineyard parcels, in this case from Victoria. Fruity, lively,supple, with real depth of...
A fabulous find fromthe Wine Society and part of its Blind Spot range of individual varietal winesfrom small vineyard parcels, in this case from Victoria. Fruity, lively,supple, with real depth of flavours of black cherries and plums with some oakto give backbone and complexity, it is versatile enough to be chilled withlighter foods, but kept at room temperature for meatier choices. So, that's thebarbecue recipe: fire up and chill…
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Terry Kirby

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