Wine Photo Credit: Grady Wine

When Wine Snobs get it Wrong

A wine I gave little attention to—until I put a blindfold on.

Angus the Bull Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $17.50

Let’s start with all the things wrong with this wine. It’s from no discernible plot of land—it’s label simply says Central Victoria. It’s relatively high in alcohol at 14.5%. It proclaims that it is “inky black in colour with concentrated ripe fruits” on the back label. Taken alone each of these things are red flags for the type of wine I usually gravitate to. Taken together, I wouldn’t go near the wine with a 10-foot didgeridoo.

But I didn’t buy it, I tasted it—blind—at a wine competition. There were three of us in a group and we had a facilitator who was the only one who knew what we were tasting. We sipped, we swirled, we spat—and then every one of us gave the bottle a thumbs up. It wasn’t until much later that we learned that we had all glowinging endorsed Angus the Bull. It could have been palate fatigue, it could have been a fluke or it simply could have been that the wine was delicious.

This was several years back, but I was reminded of it yesterday when we were finishing a long day at the office and someone opened a bottle of…you guessed it…Angus the Bull.  My head still rebels against all the things set out above but the bottle—it was from the 2010 vintage—was just as enjoyable as I remember. It is a rich wine and it does have a very fruit forward profile but there’s also a nice tannic backbone that keeps the wine from being too flabby or sloppy. It’s tasty and will always be a lesson to me to taste with my mouth not my eyes.





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